5 Recovery Tips from a Sports Physician Who Works With Olympians

Professional athletes, Olympians, celebrities, and executives turn to Altus in Santa Monica when it’s time to work on their fitness and recovery. At Altus, co-founders—and brothers—Dr. Christopher Vincent and Paul Vincent are former world class athletes who use their extensive athletic backgrounds and evidence-based training to help their members succeed. They adopt a collaborative, holistic approach to health—looking at their members’ entire lives, not just their PRs—which is why their famous clients keep coming back for more. 

Here, Dr. Vincent shares some of his specialized knowledge about recovery with us, so that anyone wanting to make the most of their workouts and rest days can take their routine to the next level. 

Think collaboratively

Altus’ collaborative approach to health means that their health managers, doctors and trainers won’t just have you doing push-ups—they’ll look at your diet, recovery, and even mental health, too. “There is research to support the idea that combining therapy, exercise, mindfulness, and nutrition makes for far greater outcomes than traditional methods both in recovery and performance,” says Dr. Vincent. “It is important to implement a combination of modalities into your daily lives—from flexibility and movement to nutrition and exercise, and don’t neglect sleep and mindfulness.”

Identify your biggest stressors

“To help recover from so much stress and strain, we must first determine and remove the biggest stressors to the body—and replace them with healthy habits,” says Dr. Vincent. Some common stressors? “Bad mechanics, bad posture, or eating sugar.”

When it comes to stressors that can’t be eliminated, Dr. Vincent recommends adding good things to your routine to counteract them. “Some stressors are simply unavoidable,” he says, “so we must help the body get stronger and handle them better by implementing recovery tools such as sleep, anti-inflammatory nutrition, breathing, stretching, etc.” 

It’s okay to start small

Don’t feel like you have to overhaul every element of your life at once. “At Altus, we implement micro habits in each area that over time become your way of being,” says Dr. Vincent. Simple, “micro” habits, like switching out a morning croissant for a green smoothie, will slowly create a healthy base that you can build other healthy habits on top of, so that you’re not starting from zero.
Stop telling yourself you don’t need that much sleep

“Sleep is one of the most important factors in recovery—not just the amount of hours but the quality of your sleep,” says Dr. Vincent. “Many people think they can survive off little sleep but research has shown that only 1% of people have a gene where they can recover with less sleep. There are different sleep cycles that have different purposes; certain hormones are released during specific cycles so, if we miss sleep cycles, we are not fully recovering and thriving.”

How to make sure you’re fully recovering and thriving at night? “There are ways to help improve this,” says Dr. Vincent. “One is your sleep hygiene: making your sleep environment as restful as possible. For example, come up with a pre-bed sleep routine, shut down the brain before going to bed, put your phone in another room, avoid eating too late, avoid alcohol or stimulants late in the day. But one of the most important elements of your sleep hygiene is comfort—making sure you have a supportive, comfortable mattress such as MOLECULE.” 

Avoid fad diets

Living in Southern California, Dr. Vincent has seen people make certain health mistakes over and over. “There are definitely mistakes from over-obsessed people, such as jumping on every crazy fad diet they read about on social media, or over-exercising, or not letting their bodies recover from specific workouts,” he says. “It is important to mix things up and not do the same thing day after day. Let your body recover.”

At Altus, the team uses
MOLECULE sheets on their massage tables to keep their clients cool and comfortable while they’re being worked on. Our Air-Engineered™ bed sheets are designed with advanced materials to keep you dry and cool, helping you optimize your recovery-focused sleep so you can wake up ready to face the day.