How do you stay sane in lockdown? It’s not just about working out – It’s about taking CARE of yourself. Let’s talk to Dr. Rick Richey about how to do just that. Rick has worked in the fitness industry since 2002 as a CPT, licensed massage therapist, college and university adjunct professor, NASM faculty instructor, and author. As an entrepreneur, he is the owner of Independent Training Spot, NYC-based personal training gyms and co-owns RēCOVER, a recovery center in NYC focused on minimizing physical and cognitive stress. Rick hosts the NASM CPT Podcast and holds a master’s degree in exercise science and a doctorate in health science.

“You have to a strategy and put forth the effort.”

Dr. Rick Richey


20 Minutes in Lockdown- Taking Care of Yourself in Lockdown, with Dr. Rick Richey #podcast

May 5. Peter: Hey guys, Peter Shankman. How are you? I am here today in New York, in my apartment as always. I am with dr. Rick Richie. Who’s going to be on a second. He just went to restart his computer, kick his kids offline and come back in. But, um, we’ll be talking about staying. Calm stinked chill in a otherwise pretty chaotic world.

Uh, Rick has a phenomenal, phenomenal background. Uh, he’s a PhD. He’s been everything from a personal trainer to a med med scientist. The guy guy does everything. And so I’m gonna read off a little bit of his bio, uh, while we wait for him to come back in and join us, but he really has done. So much. And he was, he was one of the first trainers I ever had in fact, so I’m excited for him to, to come back in and join us.

But, um, he’s worked in the fitness industry since 2002. He’s been a licensed massage therapist, college university professor. Uh, he is a doctor, right? He’s a PhD, um, in a master’s degree in exercise science and a doctorate in social health, in health science, rather. So really, really smart guy. And he can tell us sort of how to take better care of ourselves.

Um, in today’s environment. Thank you, Ray. I’m glad you love the hair. I’m going to go dark blue, uh, later tonight, uh, later today, but, um, went outside earlier with my daughter, had a, for a walk, um, in between her zoom class sessions. Um, It is a gorgeous stay out, which is, it’s just sort of mocking us that we can’t go out and enjoy it as much as we want to.

But, uh, and also of course it mocks me the fact that on the days that are gorgeous, I have my daughter, so I can’t even go outside and run, but looks like Rick is just coming back online. So let me see if I can get his, not sure cause thesis there yet, but I do have his audio. So let’s see if we get him back on and he can hear us, but we can’t see him still can’t see him, but

Rick Richey: Hey there. Yeah. I’m with you. I got some audio, but for some reason, the video feeds not coming through. 

Peter: Okay. Is that the only, only device you have 

Rick Richey: a, I’m trying to pull it up on my computer. Right? 

Peter: I’ll mute you out and we’ll see what we can do. If you come back into the session, let me know what was at your backend.

Not a problem at all. So, anyway, as I was saying, so, so Rick I’ve known him for God almost, if not 20 years, pretty darn close. I’ve had them in the past of the normal podcast. He knows a lot. Um, about what’s going on in terms of, um, sort of taking care of yourself. He runs something called recover NYC, which is somewhere you’d go after you worked out or trained or an iron man or whatever.

Um, he’s remember, several weeks ago I did that video of me and that sort of like a hyperbolic chamber, right. Where I was having a hard time breathing. I was going up in an oxygen and down the oxygen up and out student down and out. That was his place. So it’s actually pretty cool stuff that he does. But what I want to talk about today is just the premise of things we can do at home that allow us to take care of ourselves when we are, uh, you know, sort of in this, whatever you want to call it, that we’re going to be in for quite some time.

So thank you. Um, For tuning in. And I have no doubt that Rick will be here any second and we will go from there. But yeah, pretty crazy, crazy times, um, that we’re all in, but we are somehow surviving and I hope you guys are as well. I hope life is treating you well, and I hope you’re safe and healthy and we’re doing what we can do.

Right. So the best thing we can do, so. If with that, let’s see if I have a feeling he’s probably back. So let me double check and we’ll bring him on. Nope, not yet. So we’ll keep talking. We’ll bring on a second. Thank you for all. Who believed that blonde looks good? I’ve been trying my best to, to, to get it to, uh, like I said, I probably want dark blue later tonight, but as of now, so far so good.

So we’ll give it another minute. And we’ll see if we can get Rick back. And if we can’t, we’ll obviously just have to redo it. But in the meantime, we’ll see what we can do. I love that. I love that you guys have actually tuned in and tell me how you’re surviving. Thanks, Doug. I appreciate that. Tell me how you’re surviving and told me what you guys are doing to sort of stay sane and stay healthy both mentally and physically.

Um, in sort of this lockdown world that we’re in, are you getting out at all? Are you wearing a mask? Are you going for runs? Are you, are you meditating? I have a lot of people have gotten into meditation so far, which I think is phenomenal. I obviously can’t, but a lot of people who have been doing that, um, I mean, I’m sure I could, if I really want my mind to it and no pun intended, but I’m just having a really hard time with meditation, but I would love to hear what you guys are doing and how you are, uh, keeping sane, uh, during this time.

So if you want to post those comments, feel free. I’d love to know, uh, what you guys are doing as well. And Jane’s going to send me spray colors. Jean send me an email. I would love, uh, some, some spray colors. Most of us there’s Rick and we got his video. Okay. There’s Rick. And we got his video now. All right.

We have his audio. Let’s see. 

Rick Richey: Audio, 

Peter: you have your audio. There we go. Oh, Rick. Well, I’ve been, I’ve been tapped to ask you about five minutes now. Okay. Not a problem, always. Great to have you. Thank you. What we’re talking about is, uh, sort of ways to stay. Healthy both mentally and physically, right? In this sort of lockdown, crazy new world that we’re in.

You know, I think that, uh, we have a lot of people who are, um, who are, uh, coming up with new ways, right? I’ve, I’ve, I’ve talked to a lot of people who have discovered meditation, um, and, and things of that nature, which I have still not been able to get into despite constant, constant trying. But, you know, for instance, I’m taking all my calls now on treadmill.

Right. I’m taking all my clothes on the treadmill. I have to do all these, you know, my, my pals on addiction continues unabated. Um, but it’s tough. There are, you know, especially, uh, doing the homeschool thing. Um, you know, every, I don’t know about you and I, uh, I, I found, I was shocked to find that every single one of justice, if I go to teachers, Since, since nursery school, uh, have been lying to me, this kid is not a pleasure to have in class.


So having found that alley, there are days when I’m like, well, I could really use six bottles of wine, but instead of figuring out ways to jump back on the treadmill and do whatever I have to do, but, you know, talk about what people can do. Um, and how they can sort of survive this. Cause we have no idea what it’s going to end.

You know, uh, we we’ve seen that, that some, some States have jumped the gun and, and, and numbers are rising again. So, you know, and I mean, that being said, as Darwinistic in those States, you know, it’s not necessarily a bad thing, but, but, uh, what, what are we seeing in terms of what are you seeing? What, what, what stories are you hearing?

How are people changing, filling it out and relaxing and keeping their mental capacity? 

Rick Richey: Yeah. Um, well, let me go into just this idea of activity and the benefits of activity for mental health and I, and, and you you’ve probably hit on this quite a bit because we know that that exercise can help hone your focus.

We know that it can help if there was a magic pill. I think diet and exercise would be the perfect concoction, except right now, A lot of the facilities are closed and we’re gravitating towards comfort food. So we have to be aware of it. And I think one of the, one of the things that we take for granted is our ability to make lists and kind of planning out what your day is going to look like is incredibly valuable.

So if I say, I’m going to go in and I’m going to decide that this is my meal tomorrow, I’m planning that out. It’s going to be really helpful because then you kind of. You kind of don’t jump into the pretzels as much and you don’t get into the chips or the muffins or whatever it is, but I’ll also say it’s a wonderful time to actually.

Big and create those muffins and things like that. But you have to be aware that if you know, you’re going to do that, he has to plan around it. You do, it’s, it’s, it’s simple to do, but it’s complicated because it’s more stuff to do, like writing things down. Nobody wants to do that. Thinking ahead, journaling.

It’s tough. 

Peter: I think it’s one of those things where you have, uh, the premise of, um, what’s the, uh, what’s the joke for the, the, the movie, the devil’s advocate where Al Pacino says, you know, he’s talking about God and he says, you know, he gives you rules and he sets the rules, not position, look, but don’t touch.

Okay. Touch. But don’t say, you know, 

Rick Richey: though, it’s a great time to really make sure 

Peter: those brownies, 

Rick Richey: right.

Peter: So. Tell me. So keep, keep working on that.

Rick Richey: Yeah. Um, and so one of the things about listing things out is that it puts your mind where it needs to be. It’s one of the reasons I think that that intermittent fasting has worked so well for so many people is because it just creates boundaries. And when you can say it, look, I can, I can not eat from when I wake up until 12 noon and then I can start eating.

And then when I get to 8:00 PM, I can stop eating. And then there are my boundaries. And then in between there is a lot more freedom. So I think just here’s the thing. People want the correct answer. And because there are no correct answers. There are a lot of answers that can lead you into the right direction.

Um, then you have to pick something and stick with it and kind of follow through. So, um, I think that when it comes to diet, when it comes to exercise, same thing. So many people are like, there’s no way I can do 30 minutes of exercise. Every single day, six to seven days, a week, 150 minutes a week. I don’t have the location.

I don’t have the tools. I don’t have this. And I don’t have the, that. And what people don’t understand is that you can actually accomplish a lot more without the industrial complex of gyms. Now don’t get me wrong. I own gyms. I want you to go to gym, uh, but. You don’t have to have them. We’ve industrialized fitness.

And I think that this has given us an opportunity to know that that you can do something. And as I tell people all the time, a little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing. 

Peter: I have, uh, I’ve purchased two kettlebells. They’re both 22 pounds. And what I can do with two kettlebells and six feet of floor space is shocking.

Yeah, what I do, I get, I have my trainer, he calls me at five 30 in the morning and what I can get done in, in those, in that 55 minutes or six minutes is, is worthy of, uh, two hours at Equinox. It’s incredible, 

Rick Richey: right? Yeah. Let me also go with any of them. Right. Um, so here’s what I’m going to do. Peter, I’m going to give you a link to give out to your people for something called the daily move challenge.

And it is five minutes of foam rolling and stretching just to help you warm up and loosen up. And then it’s five minutes of exercise and it’s all done with a towel. So, and I’m going to provide it for you. It’s me and my business partner at recover Erin . We did it about four or five years ago. Uh, we we’re launching it again and giving it to everyone for free.

So I’m gonna give it to you and your audience, and they can have it for free, but it’s five minute exercises and five minutes foam rolling and stretching. So you have aches like low back, uh, knee your shoulder, then, then do the foam rolling at the stretching and then the five minute workouts. Now, what is the five minute workout going to do for you?

Start. Yeah, it’s going to get you to start. And I always say the anticipation of the gym is worse than the gym itself. So once you show up, it ain’t that bad. 

Peter: What’s that great? What’s that great. Um, uh, one, uh, one, one. One hour before it’s a three panel strip. It’s one hour before exercise, exercise all the time.

And then it’s like two minutes before exercise, exercise all the time. And it’s one hour after exercise all the time. 

Rick Richey: Even, even when I 

Peter: just, even if I just do 20 minutes on the, on the, on the, on the treadmill or running around or whatever. That’s enough to get me to want to do more. And isn’t it that isn’t that mental, isn’t that like?

Okay. Here’s 20 minutes of dopamine. Here’s a little squirt of dope. Mean don’t you want more now? 

Rick Richey: Yeah. Yeah. A lot of it is it’s mental. It is chemical. Um, but it’s also commitment. And this is one of the things that we talk about in what I did my dissertation on, which is attribution theory. So what people blame for the reasons to not be able to be successful at something.

And then we went into a process of retraining that called attributional retraining, and one of the biggest ways of finding success. Are twofold. This is it. There are two things ready. You have to have strategies to help you get there. And list making lists is one of the strategies that we provide. And the other thing is you got to put forth the effort to do the things on the list.

So it’s not just am I motivated to do it? Do I feel like doing it? It is developing a strategy. Laying out a plan and committing yourself to that plan. So, but, but here’s the thing. So many people put too much at risk. So they say it’s an hour of my day. It’s, it’s not, it’s not as a matter of fact. And this is very interesting.

The research on this is you.

Peter: You might have to say it again. You just froze up on the, smell it again. 

Rick Richey: Sure. Uh, that there’s research pointing out that people who are sedentary basically 23 hours out of the day, and then they work out for one hour moderate intensity workout that they still have some lifestyle things that are really affecting them.

And so what we know through the science. Is that your regular daily activity burns more calories and allows you to be healthier throughout the day, then peppered in three workouts throughout the week. So what that means is you can actually stand up and this is kind of the beginning of like what the, um, the standing desk 

Peter: movement 

Rick Richey: got started.

Is that the amount of time that you stand or don’t sit. It’s so valuable. 

Peter: I think that one of the things that people don’t realize is that it’s little tiny, incremental changes you can make. Yeah. Right. It’s you know, and again, you said it when people think exercise exercising, they go, my God, I have to work out an hour and a half.

The simple act of standing up the simple act of doing, of getting into the habit of taking 10 minutes every hour. Right. And just standing or of making your meetings walking. Right. The Aaron Sorkin concept of a walk and talk meeting is a game changer. Yeah. And I try really hard to make those, the, the things that we need to do.

Rick Richey: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And, and let’s be honest, like exercise for a lot of people is a coping mechanism and we need coping mechanisms right now. This is a great coping mechanism, but what are some other coping mechanisms that we can create and, and utilize in order to help people be either one more active or not sit down so much and.

And, and I think that’s kind of, it’s kind of like the, the TV on the treadmill, right? Yeah. Like put a TV in front of you. So if you’re going to allow yourself to watch television, then you have to stand and watch it. And then as you’re standing can pump out a few squats. You can do a few little side leg raises a couple of rotations, same thing with your food.

You can allow yourself to eat something or drink something that you are craving, but first you should put something in the way, like a carrot and a glass of water. 

Peter: That’s very true. I think that one of the, one of the rules I’ve adopted, especially here in this craziness is that I. I will not. Uh, I have to binge worthy shows that I’m enjoying I’m in season three of breaking bad that bringing that up, uh, better call Saul would have never seen.

And I’m also watching McMillian, which is about the, uh, the monopoly. Uh, it turns out the monopoly game, the monopoly McDonald’s monopoly game was fixed from like 1991 to like 2008. Yeah. You’re totally fixed. Right. You had no shot of ever winning a million dollars. But the, um, it’s fascinating because I will only allow myself to watch, uh, the, uh, better call Saul when I’m on the bike and it’s millions, but I’m on the strip and that’s it because I 

Rick Richey: know myself.

Peter: And if I sit down and start watching one episode of the couch, that’s it I’m done for the day. I’m watching 40 episodes, you know? 

Rick Richey: Yeah. Well, that was what I think every morning I wake up before everybody out to my family and I put in my headphones and I grabbed my foam roller. And I just finished Ozark.

So I have allowed myself every day to watch it watch episodes, but I’m on the foam roller and then I’m stretching and I’m doing my mobility work. I’m not working out necessarily, but I’m doing something that’s good for my body while I’m allowing my brain to waste away. 

Peter: Exactly. Our friend, Julia says wall squats are good for phone calls.

She’s right. 

Rick Richey: Ooh, Julia, I love, 

Peter: but yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s, you know, and especially, I think the unknowing, the not knowing when we’re going to be done, what’s gonna happen is, is probably the worst for us. And, uh, you know, any, any tips that I have is sort of, I think one of the things that I think when I always think about what’s it all, I just don’t know when it’s gonna end.

I think about when I have to do a minute of planning or two minutes of planks or something like that. Um, and my, I I’ve, I’ve asked my trainer to stop giving me time cues. Because if I have to think, okay, I only have 10 more seconds, 15 more seconds. That’s painful. 

Rick Richey: I’ll start 

Peter: thinking about something else completely.

And before I know it, two minutes is Dover 

Rick Richey: that’s right, 

Peter: right. So you have to apply. So, so any tips on what people can do to sort of stop thinking about other than, other than shut off the news, you know, to stop asking yourself, when is it going to be over and just sort of live your life? What can people do?

Rick Richey: Yeah. Um, the, just from a health perspective, that’s not great to focus on, on this all the time. Like it, it, it encourages us to, to stress. It is, it is a physiological response, this stress response. So it’s not something that we can just talk ourselves down from. However, these kinds of things, where we talk.

Pause. I think that it’s okay. If this case scenario I that’s. Okay. But also talking yourself through how can I be okay with that worst case scenario? Because chances are worst case scenario is not going to come true, please. And the worst case would be getting this disease and going down a very unhealthy path and a very dangerous path, but we also have life.

We also have business. We also have income that everybody’s worried about. But we’re all in that same boat. So you’re not alone. And knowing that you’re not alone knowing you’re not the only business person that owes rent, and you’re not the only person that has this and you’re not. And so there’s multiple people that you can reach out to and we can all commiserate and we can vent with each other and talk about why I still have to pay rent.

My business is shut down. There are a lot of frustrating things, but. We have to then look at it and reflect on what is good and what is happening that we need to stay positive about. And if all we do is look at the bad, then we focus on the bad. And there’s the story of the guy who leaves this town goes to a new town.

And when he gets there, uh, there’s an old man at the entrance of the town. He says, he says, what are you doing? He said, I need a new place to live. My old town. It’s terrible. It’s horrible. I don’t like it. The people are bad. And he goes, we’re that way too. And then another traveler comes through and he says, Oh, tell me about yourself.

Oh, I came from this town. I love my hometown. It’s amazing. I love that. And the, and the Sage at the front says, we are just like that too. Because it’s not about the town, it’s not about this. It’s about your perspective and you have to control the perspective. 

Peter: Last question for you. And Wendy wants to know new home gym equipment sometimes offers new motivation.

What one or two Amazon equipment purchase, which suggests resistance bands, both excuse something else. 

Rick Richey: Oh, that’s, that’s a really great question. So I’m going to suggest the many loops. So they’re little round loops. I’m sure I have one close by, but not close enough to grab right now, but they’re about 12 inches long and you can slide your slide, your legs into it, and you can do a lot of great hip exercises.

You can put your arms in it and do a lot of shoulder exercises. And then I would say some type of suspension training. 

Peter: So, whether that’s 

Rick Richey: like a TRX or a jungle gym, one of those brands, they’re wonderful brands. There are so many things you can do and it’s right there hanging on your door. So you’re right.

Once it catches your eye and you see it, you’re very likely to go over and during those commercial breaks, or if you’re streaming, then just push, pause, and go bang out a few repetitions. 

Peter: Very cool people find you. 

Rick Richey: Great. Thanks for asking on Instagram is where I’m most active. It’s dr. Rick Richie. That’s R I C H E Y for the last name.

Peter: Very cool. Rick, thanks so much for taking the time. I really appreciate it. We’ll have you back. I love, I loved chatting with you. Stay safe folks with the family. 

Rick Richey: And by the way I was cleaning out, uh, something just today and I came across this

Peter: very cool guys. Thanks for watching. We’ll have some more next week. Everyone stay safe. 

Rick Richey: Bye bye. Thank you.

Follow Dr. Rick’s adventures on his website and Instagram

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