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Rest and recovery are as necessary for muscle-building as exercise. This is because of the way muscle building actually works. During exercise, muscles are strained and tiny tears occur in the muscle fibers. Then, while you’re resting, your body fixes the tears and builds the muscles up more than before in order to ensure they can handle the strain that you put on them. Because rest and recovery are so important, there is a right and wrong way to do it. If you’re not focusing on recovery and just doing nothing but exercising for muscle-building, then there’s a good chance that you’re not going to see the results that you want. Recovery starts the moment you finish your final set and ends the next time you start exercising. Here’s what you need to do to recover immediately following an exercise routine: Cool Down As soon as you finish your last set, you need to cool your muscles down. After all, they’ve been worked hard and will need some encouragement to get back to their normal state. Just as you should have warmed up your muscles before you started with some light exercise, it’s important to cool down with some light exercise as well. Simply walking for a little while and moving the muscles you exercised should be enough to help your muscles relax and begin the recovery process. This light cardio will also get blood flowing through your body which should help with the removal of toxins that are released during exercise. Most of the time, you’ll only need a 5- to 10-minute cooldown after strength training.