An injury can seriously interrupt your fitness and sports goals. Fortunately, not every injury has to keep you sidelined for too long. If you’re willing to take the steps to a complete and healthy recovery, you’ll be back at it in no time. Here are three tips to get you started.

Acknowledge It’s an Injury

The first step to recovering after an injury is to acknowledge that it is an injury, no matter how severe it is or isn’t. Too often people will try to “work through” an injury and create a larger problem. Even if it is an injury that doesn’t need a doctor’s attention, there are steps you need to take to make sure it recovers quickly and correctly. If it is an injury you suspect is more severe, never be afraid to see a doctor. At the very least they can tell you it’s nothing and that a few days of rest will make everything better.

The second step to recovering is to realize how it happened. Were you performing an exercise incorrectly? Were the weights too heavy? Has it been too soon since your last injury etc. Once you know what went wrong, you can take steps to prevent it in the future.

Rest & Recovery

Rest for recovery is the biggest issue that holds people back. Tips like rest, elevation, ice, heating and the like are there to help you get back to tip-top shape faster. They aren’t meant to get in the way and be avoided. Ignoring the suggestions could lead to far worse problems now or in the future, so you have to ask yourself if a day or two of rest and light work is really that detrimental to your long-term goals and health.

Help Yourself

You’re the only one that knows your body. After time you know when you’ve gone too far when something doesn’t feel right, and what makes it all better. There’s also a list of other things you can do to help yourself every day such as eating right, stretching before and after a workout, using proper technique and equipment and coming back light after an injury and working your way back up to pre-injured levels.