Benefits of Running

Benefits of Running

Benefits of Running

We all know that running is great for you, but who enjoys doing it? We’re here to convince you to start running – and keep going. It’s not everyone’s favorite workout, but the benefits are undeniable. Running can help build a healthier body and give you a better outlook on life. Knowing what it can do for you might be the spark that gets you up and out the door.

No need for weights or an expensive gym membership. You can run whenever and wherever. Go out and explore! Run around your neighborhood or your community. If you’re on vacation, get a feel for the city during your run, not to mention the scenery. You can even meet new people and form new relationships, just by running.

Physical Benefits

Running has numerous health benefits. In fact, it’s good for every part of the human body, physically and mentally. The benefits of running include:

A more efficient cardiovascular system

Running even 10 to 15 minutes a day has a profound effect on your health. It makes your heart stronger and more efficient so that each beat delivers more blood to your organs.

To add some science: Cardiac Output = Stroke Volume x Heart Rate. Cardiac output is the amount of blood pumped in 1 minute; stroke volume is the amount of blood per pump, and heart rate is the number of times your heart pumps in one minute. According to the American Council of Exercise, increased ventricle size, decreased heart rate, and increased stroke volume are positive adaptations to exercise.

Better joint health

It was once thought that running could increase the risk of osteoarthritis. In fact, running helps your bones become more resilient and stronger². It increases bone density by migrating osteoblasts – cells that help form bone – to the surface of the bone. This way, your bones can take on more stress during physical activity.   

Weight loss

According to Livestrong, the average person can burn 100 – 150 calories per mile. You even burn calories after you stop running because your heart rate remains elevated for a short time. The after-burn is real: one study³ showed you could burn calories up to 14 hours after a workout!

All-around exercise

Running works your core and legs at the same time. It works your hip and abdominal muscles and promotes abdominal tone and spinal stabilization (posture). Running is a complete workout for the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves. You’ll be turning heads before you know it!

Mental Benefits

What’s the point of looking good if you don’t feel right? Running doesn’t only benefit you physically, but mentally as well! Here’s how it helps:

Increased confidence and self-esteem

You’ll look better and feel better. You’ll even notice people acknowledging it. What’s more, when you run, you know that you’re achieving your goal to become a healthier you – and that alone makes you feel great! Knowing you can succeed at improving your health allows you to tackle any challenges life puts in your way.  

Runners high

It’s no myth. Running triggers endorphins and endocannabinoids, the feel-good chemicals in your brain. Running alters your brain chemistry to make you feel happier, naturally. This feeling lasts after the run as well., It works overtime to improve your overall mood. 

Gives you time to meditate and reduce stress

There are many ways to meditate – and running can be yours. Running allows you to clear your mind and calm your thoughts. Have a rough day? Going for a run can help you think through a terrible situation. Sometimes you just need that 15 or 20 minutes to yourself. Why not get away from the everyday hassles for that brief time?   

How to Reach a Flow State

How to Reach a Flow State

“Flow is an optimal state of consciousness when you feel and perform your best. It’s the moment of total absorption. Time speeds up or slows down like a freeze-frame effect. Mental and physical ability go through roof, and the brain takes in more information per second, processing it more deeply.”

– Steven Kotler

Flow is when you are completely immersed in a challenging activity. You feel one with this and nothing else seems to exist. During flow, you are at your happiest. Steven Kotler, author of The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance explains that “The amount of time someone spends in flow has a massive and powerful correlation to life satisfaction”.

Many people mindlessly go through the motions of existence. You may find this within yourself to some extent. Do not allow yourself to one day realize that you have become trapped within yourself or your job.

Below is a full guide to help you pull yourself out of the boring, everyday tasks and get into a flow state. Use it to assist you in finding passion and challenges within your life.




If you are completing an activity that is too easy, you will soon fall into a state of boredom. Conversely, if the activity is too difficult you may begin to feel anxious. To experience flow, we must be in between these two states so that we are completely attentive and involved in the activity but not overwhelmed by it.


To achieve flow you must know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. This provides the certainty you need to prevent worrying about the past or future. Understanding what needs to be accomplished will allow you to focus on what you are doing at the moment.


Unambiguous feedback leaves no room for worrying or wondering if you are doing “good” or “bad”. It tells you how you are doing in real-time so that you can immediately adjust your response in order to meet the goal. 




When in flow, you are totally immersed in the activity you are completing. Distractions do not exist. You are fully absorbed by the present moment and you feel unstoppable. Your mind and body team together to complete the activity; it feels as if it is second nature.


When in flow, you feel as if you can achieve anything. You are free from worry while feeling safe, secure, and relaxed. Although you are not actively trying to “be controlling”, you have self-discipline and can direct the contents of your consciousness.


When feelings of self-consciousness flood your mind, you may find that you are comparing yourself to others or wondering what they may think in regards to you. You are unable to feel this way during flow because you become one with the activity. You are too absorbed in the here and now to care about protecting your ego. It is just you, the activity, and your intuition.


Have you ever lost track of time because you were just too focused on something? When you are in flow this is exactly what happens. It may feel as if time either slows down or speeds up.


While you are in a state of flow, you may find that you are engaging in an activity just for the sake of doing it! Performing the task itself is enough motivation for you to continue. You enjoy the process as a whole and are not just trying to reach an outcome.




Flow is fragile. It is critical to eliminate anything that may distract you so that you are not pulled out of this state. It takes about 10-15 minutes of undivided attention to achieve a flow state.

You may think that checking your phone only takes a second, but it can actually take your brain 25 minutes to finally regain full attention on the current activity.

Ways to give yourself the best chance to flow:

  • Put your phone on “do not disturb”
  • Clear your area of anything that may distract you
  • Close your email
  • Close all social media
  • Find a quiet environment
  • Turn off distracting music


Ever find it extremely hard to focus when you are stressed out? If you’ve got “too much on your mind” you may struggle to concentrate, let alone reach a flow state. When you find yourself in this situation try to practice mindfulness. Try journaling, meditation, yoga, or any activity you find enjoyable. Once you can control your thoughts you will find that flow comes a lot easier.


Flow relies on pursuing a single activity with extreme focus.

Multitasking is the villain!

In order to reach a flow state, you must know exactly what you are working on so that there is no room in your brain for hesitation. Decide on one specific activity with one specific goal and go all in, no questions asked.


Time moves differently when you are in a flow state. You can use the Pomodoro Timer to ensure that you do not flow for too long or to help you achieve your flow state in general.

The Pomodoro Technique is using a timer to break down your work into intervals. Realistically speaking, your brain cannot sustain a flow state indefinitely. By using this method you will be setting a beginning and end to your task. After the timer is over you can take a short break and allow your mind to rest. 

If you struggle to get into a flow state this can be a very useful technique. By setting a beginning time, you defeat procrastination by making yourself get started. You can set it for about 25 minutes and spend that time working only on the task. Challenge yourself to get as much done or get the best quality work in that time and tell yourself that you can stop after the alarm goes off. You may discover that you are actually enjoying the work and the challenge when the timer goes off.


When you are tired it becomes more difficult to pay attention. You are more alert and ready for action after a good night’s sleep. Ensuring that you are well rested is a crucial step to reaching a flow state.

This does not mean that you should spend 12 hours in bed. Trying to sleep for half a day will not be beneficial if you are not getting quality sleep during this time. Learn what works best for you and aim to get enough high quality sleep each night so that you may perform your best.


Listen to your body. Learn from it. At what points in the day do you find that you are the most energetic and creative? At what times of the day are you more tired?

Achieving a flow state can be difficult if you do not have much energy. You need to have the desire to focus and accomplish your goals. Often people get tired after lunch. If you identify that in yourself, recognize that it would not be a good time to flow. Instead, choose a time of day when you have the most energy and try to schedule your flow times during this.


As mentioned above, to achieve flow you must be working on a task that is challenging enough to keep you engaged while being skilled enough to tackle the challenge without it being too difficult.

You can turn almost anything into the flow. If you find an everyday activity to be “boring”, you need to change it up. Make a game out of it and create rules for yourself. For example, if you are completing a writing assignment, see how many words you can write within a timeframe. If you are sweeping the floor, see how clean you can get it in a certain amount of time and try to beat your score when you complete the activity again. You truly can find flow in almost any activity!


Feeling slow and fatigued? Have you had enough water?

Dehydration will make you feel foggy and sluggish, preventing you from reaching a flow state. To increase your productivity and chances of entering a flow state you should make sure that you are fully hydrated. When you have had enough water you will be able to stay focused and feel more energized.


Choose a task to perform before each of your attempts to enter a flow state. Doing this repeatedly will signal to your brain that you are about to enter a flow state and your body will prepare accordingly.

Examples of a flow ritual include:

  • Meditating
  • Having a cup of tea or coffee
  • Taking a walk
  • Listening to certain songs/music
  • Journaling
  • Stretching
  • Taking a shower


Texts, emails, and social media make it more and more difficult for us to enter a flow state. If you find that you are always switching between tasks it may be best to start with attempting to flow for brief periods and work your way up. Practice for about 20 minutes or shorter if needed.

This is something that will take patience. You will definitely feel tempted to check your phone or email… but don’t give in! You can do it!


Common Goals: Everyone in the group must be working to reach a collective solution.

Familiarity: Everyone should be familiar with each other so that they are on the same page and can understand one another with ease.

Deep Listening: Each person needs to be paying close attention to what is being said. This will allow the conversation to naturally progress and prevent people from talking over one another.

Undivided Attention: For a group to achieve flow, there should be no distractions. Each person must be completely focused on the present moment. 

Blending Egos: Each person must set aside their ego for the good of the group. Rather than being concerned with his/her own thoughts, each participant should listen and react to each other’s ideas.

Equal Participation: Teamwork is one of the most important factors in achieving group flow. Each person should have an equal role and a similar skill level.

Positive Input: Each member’s ideas should be built upon rather than torn apart. The participants will have to be optimistic and willing to try something new.

Sense of Control: Each member should have a task to complete that they enjoy or want to do and feel competent enough to complete it. This provides a feeling of being in control for all the members involved.

Shared Risk: The higher the risk, the more focused and motivated you are. All members should feel as if they have something to lose if they do not accomplish the goal.

EP 84: How to Pass The NCLEX

How to Pass the NCLEX

Taking an exam as important as NCLEX can be exciting. But how to pass the NCLEX like a pro? What are the exact steps you have to take for your success in passing this examination?

With the right preparation, passing the exam is absolutely attainable for every nursing school graduate out there. In our podcast episode, we explain some of our best strategies for studying, planning, and taking the NCLEX.

COVID-19 Impact on NCLEX

Ensure social distancing measures are in effect, as well as increase the number of candidates that can test daily, the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN examinations will be administered until Sept. 30, 2020, as follows:

Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) will still be used:

  • The minimum number of test items will be 75 (15 of those will be the pretest). Previously It was a minimum of 75 questions with a max of 265
  • The maximum number of test items will be 145
  • The maximum testing time will be 5 hours
  • The difficulty level and passing standard has not changed

In 2018, the pass rate for 1st-time test takers with a Bachelor’s degree was about 92%, compared to an 85% pass rate with an Associate’s degree. This is all from our NCLEX study guide on page 4. 

What is the NCLEX?

So, you graduated from nursing school? As you know, you’re far from celebrating just yet. It felt like the hard part is just beginning. You need to study and pass your NCLEX. 

The NCLEX, also known as the National Council Licensure Examination, is a standardized test every state’s regulatory board determines if a candidate is ready to become a licensed nurse. The NCLEX is used to determine if it’s safe for you to begin practicing as an entry-level nurse.

Start preparing as soon as you finish school

Starting your studying too early/while you are still in school (and studying for exams) may cause burnout and lead to a more stressful NCLEX studying experience. On the other hand, if you take off a large amount of time in between school and NCLEX studying, you’ll start to forget key information you learned in nursing school that’s needed for the NCLEX.

We suggest waiting 2 months max to take the test. All that knowledge is still fresh in your mind and it’s a perfect time frame to plan out an effective study plan. Order your study material during the last couple of weeks of school to ensure you have all your resources ready for the upcoming weeks of studying

Read over the National Council of State Boards of Nursing detailed test plan (there is an overview of what you’ll be tested on and what percentage of the test is made up of what topics. For now, the NCLEX has 4 major categories, and the percentage is broken down on our NCLEX study guide.

Study Schedule 

Create a schedule that reinforces studying. For the next 1-2 months, your time revolves around studying. Aim for 3-4 hrs a day, if you can do more, that’s even better. Studying for 4 hrs a day gives you 120 hrs of studying a month, average human life is a little over 700,000 hrs and a typical work week is 40+ hours, just to give you a perspective for anyone that thinks that is a lot of studying.

Study Material

Study materials will depend on your learning style.

Flashcards: You can take them anywhere. Separate the ones you know and the ones you get wrong, focus more on the ones you get wrong. These are really good for labs and meds.

Sticky notes: use these as another way to go over the things you struggle with. Write down what you keep getting wrong and post them on your bedroom mirror or a place you commonly stay in.

Notebook: Write down key topics and rationales. Separate them into categories so you are not looking all over the place. Being organized is key. A notebook is great because you can quickly look back on rationales, key points, and information as a quick reference. Another benefit is you are writing what you are learning which is another study style that will increase memorization.

Study groups 

Creating a study schedule, have you used one? Find a place to study, a place that won’t have many distractions. The place we have found to be most beneficial is the Library. This way you separate your personal life from your study life. You go to the library for 1 specific thing only, that is to study. Once you leave, you’re done studying, look at it as if it is your office and your 9-5 job.

Why do study groups work effectively? 

Forming study groups is a very effective strategy for enhancing learning. This is because groups share unique insights and learn from each other. Group members can also teach confusing concepts they understand to other group members. 

Study groups are particularly effective for completing projects, developing presentations, and preparing for exams. Study groups can help improve your notes by comparing class lecture notes. You can then fill in any information or important concept you missed during the lecture.

Study groups also allow you to have stronger support systems and can help how to pass the NCLEX. We all know how stressful nursing school can be. Joining or forming a study group is a great way to give and receive motivation and support from fellow students and group members. And if you become sick or are unable to attend class, you can get notes from members of your study group.

Cramming for an exam? No problem, study groups can help you cover more material. Working in groups makes it possible to focus on more concepts since multiple people can review more material than just one. Lastly, it makes studying easier and more fun! It’s a great way to liven up your studying sessions. 

Developing an effective study group

These are our recommendations to develop an effective study group!

How many people? 

It’s recommended to keep study groups between 4 to 6 people. People often socialize too much and cannot cover as much material in smaller groups. In bigger groups, some group members do not contribute as much and organization can be a problem.


The most effective study is completed in study groups composed of members with the common goal of earning good grades. Like-minded people, you need to be around those that take extensive notes, clear up confusion, and can ask questions to contribute. 


The location for studying can play a part in how to pass the NCLEX. It is best to study in environments without distractions and areas where group members can communicate freely. I always loved to reserve time in the library or parts of the college with a few couches and a quiet environment. 


Usually, you want to plan around exams. I used to always have study groups the day before or the day of the exam session. Our study groups were effective at reviewing all the material before the exam and finishing up last-minute confusion. 

Maximize the value of the group session by setting clear expectations and goals. Prior to each session, group members should discuss what they hope to achieve, so the session is productive and stays on track.

Focus – Keep your eye on the prize 

How do you promote focus, what’s the secret? Focusing on one given task at a time. Our current society makes everything so dam distracting. Everything is calling out to grab your attention. It’s time to cancel out all that noise. You need to put quality time and energy into passing the NCLEX. That’s how it’s done. 

Hydroxychloroquine vs. Remdesivir The Verdict?

Hydroxychloroquine vs. Remdesivir: The Verdict?

Hydroxychloroquine vs. Remdesivir which one works best? This is an interesting topic since it has been banned on social media from being posted. Hydroxychloroquine is a cheaper drug, can be obtained quite easily, and seems “safe” because it has been widely used for many years in the prevention of malaria [1].

Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on hydroxychloroquine. “A doctor and a patient need to assess the data that’s out there, FDA does not regulate the practice of medicine, and that in the privacy of the doctor-patient relationship is where that decision should be made.”

The Price Difference Between Hydroxychloroquine vs. Remdesivir

The cost for Hydroxychloroquine oral tablet 200 mg is around $37 for a supply of 100 tablets, depending on the pharmacy you visit. Prices are for cash-paying customers only and are not valid with insurance plans.

Gilead Sciences set the price for Remdesivir, its antiviral drug that can shorten hospitalization stays for individuals ill with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) from SARS-CoV-2 infection, at $520 a vial, or $3120 per patient for a typical treatment course, for those with private insurance [2].

The price of those not covered by private insurance will be $390 per vial. A treatment course is 6 vials. The FDA approved the drug for emergency use in some patients and the company has applied for full approval.

The Real Story of Remdesivir

New information by Public Citizen estimates that taxpayers have contributed at least $70.5 million to develop the drug, nearly double a previous public estimate of $37.5 million.

Initially tested by Gilead as a hepatitis C treatment, Remdesivir was refined, developed, and evaluated by federal scientists for Ebola and coronaviruses.

The research outlined below demonstrates how the U.S. Army, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) either conducted or funded much of the preclinical and clinical development of Remdesivir (formerly referred to as GS-5734)



Small sample but showed promising results for macaques monkeys. 2 samples of 6 monkeys in each. One was given IV Remdesivir the other one has a placebo. The study showed that the Remdesivir monkey had [3].

  • Less respiratory disease
  • Reduced virus replication in the lower, but not upper respiratory tract
  • Decreased viral loads in the lungs 
  • Reduced pneumonia

A double-blind study examined the effectiveness of Remdesivir in 538 patients vs 521 in the placebo [4]. The Remdesivir group had:

  • Quicker recovery time, 11 vs 15 days
  • Less mortality 7.1% vs 11.9 %

53 patients were given Remdesivir and results showed promising favor for Remdesivir [5].

  • Clinical improvement was observed in 36 of 53 patients (68%)
    • Including 17 of 30 patients (57%) receiving mechanical ventilation who were extubated
    • 25 patients (47%) were discharged
    • 7 patients (13%) died


An observational study in a cohort study of 1061 pts with COVID – 19 treated with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. The mean age was about 44 [6].

  • Good clinical outcomes and virological cure were obtained in 973 patients 
  • A poor clinical outcome was observed for 46 patients (4.3%) and 8 died (0.75%)
  • Five patients are still hospitalized 
  • 98.7% of patients cured so far

412 started treatment with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin and 224 refused [7].

Medications. The mean age was 62.5. The patients were suspected to have a COVID-19 infection [8].

  • The need for hospitalization was 1.9% in the treatment group and 5.4% in the control group
  • Showed that early use of hydroxychloroquine reduces hospitalization needs.

Sample of 36 people where 20 were treated with hydroxychloroquine and 16 were the control. Smaller sample, unfortunately.

  • At day6 post-inclusion, 70% of hydroxychloroquine-treated patients were virologically cured compared to 12.5% in the control group eventually reaching 100% clearance.
  • Both HCQ and RDV were shown to inhibit the in-vitro growth of SARS-CoV-2. 
  • HCQ co-administered with azithromycin provides a virological cure and low mortality with no cardiac toxicity
  • RDV shortens time to recovery but without any significant mortality benefit

The Verdict

These results show that both drugs have a positive impact on fighting COVID-19. All 6 studies above demonstrate results that both drugs show clinical improvement and inhibit the in vitro growth of COVID-19.

The Clean Network Program to Safeguard America’s Assets

The Clean Network Program to Safeguard America’s Assets

The Clean Network Program to Safeguard America’s Assets

Spearheaded by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, the Clean Network Initiative was launched to little fanfare in early August. These programs are rooted in internationally accepted digital trust standards and built upon the 5G Clean Path initiative, announced on April 29, 2020, to secure data traveling on 5G networks into U.S. diplomatic facilities overseas and within the United States.

Clean Network Progam

It would mean no Chinese apps in US app stores, no US data stored on the Chinese cloud, and no US apps on Chinese smartphones.

The five new lines of effort for the Clean Network are as follows:

  • Clean Carrier: To ensure untrusted People’s Republic of China (PRC) carriers are not connected with U.S. telecommunications networks.
    Such companies pose a danger to U.S. national security and should not provide international telecommunications services to and from the United States.
  • Clean Store: To remove untrusted applications from U.S. mobile app stores. PRC apps threaten our privacy, proliferate viruses, and spread propaganda and disinformation.
    Americans’ most sensitive personal and business information must be protected on their mobile phones from exploitation and theft for the CCP’s benefit.
  • Clean Apps: To prevent untrusted PRC smartphone manufacturers from pre-installing –or otherwise making available for download – trusted apps on their apps store. Huawei, an arm of the PRC surveillance state, is trading on the innovations and reputations of leading U.S. and foreign companies.
    These companies should remove their apps from Huawei’s app store to ensure they are not partnering with a human rights abuser.
  • Clean Cloud: To prevent U.S. citizens’ most sensitive personal information and our businesses’ most valuable intellectual property. This includes COVID-19 vaccine research, from being stored and processed on cloud-based systems accessible to our foreign adversaries through companies such as Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent.
  • Clean Cable: To ensure the undersea cables connecting our country to the global internet are not subverted for intelligence gathering by the PRC at a hyper-scale. We will also work with foreign partners to ensure that undersea cables around the world aren’t similarly subject to compromise.

Momentum for the Clean Network program is growing. More than thirty countries and territories are now Clean Countries. Many of the world’s biggest telecommunications companies are Clean Telcos. All have committed to exclusively using trusted vendors in their Clean Networks.

The United States calls on our allies and partners in government and industry around the world. This is to encourage them to join the growing tide to secure our data from the CCP’s surveillance state and other malign entities. Building a Clean fortress around our citizens’ data will ensure all of our nations’ security.