Most athletes, weekend warriors and fitness enthusiasts experience an exercise-related injury at some point in their lives. When faced with the dreaded sprained ankle, bout of tendonitis,  pulled muscle, or any other work-out induced impairment, these 5 steps can help improve the recovery process.

A key component in proper healing post-injury is rest. Pain is a signal that your body is in distress — it is important to cease activity upon experiencing an injury. Experts have noted that during the first 2 days following the initial injury you should rest as much as possible.

Giving your body ample time to recover is vital, however, it is important to keep in mind that rest is relative. You can remain active without putting stress on the injured area.

I.C.E. (ice, compression, and elevation) is a tried-and-true tool for aiding in the rehab of injuries. The application of cold and use of compression can help reduce pain and swelling. Elevation of the injury decreases the risk for internal bleeding and bruises and also helps reduces pain.

Pro tip: Trade in the ice pack for whole body cryotherapy. Whole body cryotherapy provides similar benefits as icing and is said to improve overall wellness and facilitate natural healing.

Consulting a doctor is important as well, especially if it is a significant injury. Physical therapy and chiropractic care may be necessary.

It’s common to feel frustrated, angry and even depressed after an injury. Allow yourself an appropriate amount of post-injury grieving but remember that staying in a funk for too long can negatively impact your recovery time. 

Try and stay positive about your rehab plan and focus on your perspective — the injury may seem like a big deal in the present but when you look back on it, it’ll be a small blip on your radar.

Modify Your Workouts
With the approval of your doctor, adjust your workout routine by implementing exercises that do not put stress on your injury. Low-impact activities including yoga, swimming, and even light cycling are excellent options. It may be beneficial to include cross-training in your workout regimen as cross-training allows you to focus on multiple parts of your body.

Preventative Measures
Be mindful of your injury and take proper precautions to help decrease the chances of getting hurt again. Stretching pre and post workout, properly engaging in muscle recovery activities and incorporating natural anti-inflammatories into your diet can aid in injury prevention.

Bonus step: rev up your wellness routine! Focusing on your total well-being can help you recover from injuries faster and help lessen your chances of experiencing another. Find out how holistic healing experiences, like whole body cryotherapy, can help improve your wellness.