My favorite methods for recovery.
The Cool Down
If you've just finished a hard workout, never skip on the cool down, give yourself a really good 15-20 min stretch session. Stretch and Hold for 10 counts and repeat. Don't bounce because that does Nothing for you. A mini yoga session is a great way to cool down as well. You want to stretch and hold because that will help Flush out all the Lactic acid build up. You're signalling to your body that you're done working out and it doesn't need to "recruit" extra nutrients certain muscles anymore.
*Note - Drink a protein shake or get some food and liquids in you. Protein will give the body what it needs to repair the muscles. My favorite is by Optimum Health Nutrition - Pro Complete 40 - don't be confused with Optimum Nutrition. (they are different)
The Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom Salt is a great way to detox your body. It draws out all the toxins you have, alleviating your body of any extra lactic acid buildup. I like taking the bath because HEAT promotes circulation, so you get 2 birds with 1 stone. (if you have health or heart issues - consult your doctor)
*Note - Important!! have a 20 oz - 1 liter bottle of water (or Sport drink), (I usually like ice cold water) with you when you're taking your bath - otherwise, you might faint, and I don't want anyone to drown.
1- Hot water bath, make it hotter than you normally would have a bath, but not too hot where you burn yourself, (add oils, bath bubbles, whatever you like)
2 - Add Epsom salts - around 2 cups in a bath, more if you have a larger tub.
3 - Soak for 20 mins, prep some music or tv to pass the time. You might be feeling light headed after about 5 - 10 mins. DRINK WATER. You will be sweating a lot. All the toxins are being drawn out of your body. Drink periodically every few minutes, so you don't have a belly full of water, and your body has fresh water to sweat out.
4 - After the soak, dry off, while your body is still pretty warm, do a nice 10-15 min stretch, or mini yoga session.
5 - the next day you shouldn't feel as sore as you normally would if you didn't do the bath.
This bath helps me recover in half the time. I'm usually feeling great the next day.