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IFTTT helps your apps and devices work together in new ways. Read about the internet's best longform content, the world's first smart hearing aids, a modern electricity bill solution, new Applets for travelers, and more. See what's new from September.
IFTTT's September Newsletter
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Why You Should Embrace Open Water Swimming

Open water swimming is an extremely beneficial and rewarding sport to participate in if you're looking for something a little bit different. While it may sound and look daunting (and freezing), it's a quite freeing experience that can't really be met in your local leisure and swimming club.

Not only does open water swimming provide you with the opportunity to develop your swimming skills and have a bit of fun with it, you will be able to witness the beautiful and stunning scenery of the lakes, lynns and lochs of the UK.

What are the benefits?

There are various mental and physical health benefits when it comes to swimming in the great outdoors. It's a cost effective and worthwhile process which can essentially transform your mindset, body and life.

Improves Sleep – Mentally, open water swimming works wonders for the mind, body and soul. It can help insomnia sufferers sleep better! Professional researchers and sports enthusiasts have stated that any type of exercise improves sleeps and because swimming stimulates muscles throughout the whole body, swimmers are often more tired and require rest.

Works the Body – Our parasympathetic systems hold the responsibility for repair and rest, this is stimulated by cold water! Have you noticed how many athletes dip into a quick ice bath after a long exercise or match session? This is because the cold water relieves muscles soreness. So, if you've just finished a long practice session in the open water, make sure you take the necessary precautions, so you don't wake up the next morning very, very sore.

Burns Calories Quicker – Swimming is one sport which burns calories much quicker than regular exercise! As the muscles in our body are being put to work as we swim, it also has to work twice as hard to keep our regular body temperature, so we don't potentially freeze to death. Because of this, it essentially increases our metabolism and helps us lose weight and ultimately boosts our immune system.

Boosts the Immune System – When it comes to looking after our bodies and our immune system, it's known that by immersing ourselves in cold water it actually increases white blood counts that help fight infection! Overall, swimming has an exceptional impact on the body's health and wellbeing, if you're one who gets sick too often, swimming might be one way to better look after your body.

How different is open water swimming to indoor swimming?

Open water swimming is very, very different from swimming in a pool. It's like running on a treadmill then going outside for a run – different environments = different experiences. Although outdoor swimming can be more beneficial than indoor swimming, it does require increased performance, motivation and lots of practice! Here are some insightful and useful tips that can be put into practice:

  • Practice for open water swimming in the pool first – your swimming technique will be a bit different in open water swimming, you'll have to learn how to adapt your swimming based on conditions.
  • Familiarise yourself with outdoor conditions – if you can't stand fish, insects and other things that you may see or touch in the water, you'll need to work on that!
  • You need the right equipment and gear – this means buying high quality and effective wetsuits and goggles to protect you from the cold water and other elements that you may face
  • You will need to stroke with a higher stroke rate than if you were in a pool
  • In windy conditions, you will need to have an effective breathing technique to help reduce the amount of water you swallow

Swimming apps that can help on your open water journey

SwimIO Swim Fitness – Track swims, set and reach goals

Training Peaks – Track and monitor swim sets, track and reach goals

My Swim Pro – Personalised swim workouts

The most important thing to remember for open water swimming is that you need to enjoy it! You don't have to worry about other swimmers getting in your way, with open water, there sure is a lot of it and you get your own space!

If you're looking to become more active and lose weight, take a look at the apps above to help you. If you're looking to train and participate in an open water swim competition, the popular ones are 5km, 10km or 25km so based on your training and performance, you can choose which one suits you best and which is achievable.

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Exercises for Flabby Arms – Best and Easy Ways to Lose Arm Fat!

Does your flabby arm make you feel inferior about yourself? You wish to put on your favourite funky cold shoulder top, but your jiggly fat arms wouldn't cooperate with you because your shoulders and arms wouldn't look perfectly nice when you put it on!

Don't worry! You can get rid of your arm fat and build a perfect tone with the help of these seven exercises and some tips that you can follow to prevent the fat build up in your arms.

How Long Will It Take To Build Perfect Sleek Arms?

Is the task of obtaining those perfectly toned and sleek arms really difficult? How long do you need to work on your arms and shape them to achieve the result? Well, the answer lies in your consistency and commitment!

Weight loss can be achieved in a week, but since the process of losing arm fat involves the major focus on your arm and not the rest of your body, you need the required amount of patience and perseverance to wait for at least 6 weeks after you have started working on them in order to achieve your dream.

Five Best Exercises To Shed The Fat In Your Arms

Setting up a major goal and working upon it with immense zeal and enthusiasm not only helps in making your dreams come true, but it also helps in building your self-confidence because you have achieved what you have always wanted to.

Set up an alarm and set a timer to work on each of these seven best exercises that can help you in shedding your arm fat!

1)    Planks


The best part about including planks in your work out regime is that planks not only help in showing a physical impact on your arms and shoulders, but they also help in reducing your belly fat and improvising the overall posture of your body.

How To Perform Plank?

Lie down on the floor such that the front side of your body, (your chest and belly) faces the floor. Take the help of your elbows as a support and raise upwards such that your neckline, abdomen and buttocks are in a straight line.

Try to stay in the position for about sixty seconds before you get back to your normal position. If you have never tried plank before, you can set a limit of thirty seconds and gradually increase the time to sixty seconds.

Ensure that you do not give up if your arms being to ache because it implies that the fat is being burnt. Repeat the exercise three times for a quick result.

2)    Upright Row

Upright Row

Upright row is one of the best exercises you can practice to lose the arm fat. If you cannot hit the gym and want to lose arm fat at home, it's really simple. You just have to buy two dumbbells that weigh 10 pounds each.

The dumbbells do have to necessarily weigh 10 pounds because the weight that you should lift depends on your body weight.

How To Perform An Upright Row?

Stand erect and make sure that you keep your legs at a distance from each other. Hold each dumbbell in each of your hand and be prepared to lift them up. You should be forming a 'V' shape between your arms and the sidelines of your body when you draw the dumbbells upwards to the height of your chest.

Lift the dumbbells up to your chest level and relax by lowering your hands down to the normal position. One important point to be remembered while performing an upright row is that there should be no movement in the abdominal area while lifting or releasing the weights.

Your arms should ache after performing 12 uprights and this is the major indication that you are lifting the appropriate weights according to your arm strength and body weight.  

3)    Triceps Kickbacks

Triceps Kickbacks

Triceps are the muscles present on the rear side of your upper limb and since you push your forearm backwards to strengthen your triceps muscles, the exercise is known as a triceps kickback. You just need a single dumbbell and a flat bench to perform triceps kickbacks at home.

How To Perform Triceps Kickbacks?

Place your right foot on the floor and bend your left knee to place it on the bench and you should lean forward with the palm of your left hand resting on the bench.

Hold the dumbbell with your right hand and push your forearm backwards and make sure that your arm remains intact. You should fling your forearm backwards and bring it back to the normal position to perform one triceps kickback.

Repeat until you perform 12 triceps kickbacks and practice the same with your left hand. You should ensure there's no movement in the rest of your body and you only move your forearm while performing the exercise.

4)    Triceps Dips

Triceps Dips

Triceps dips are so interesting and can be performed anywhere and at any time. You just need a bench and a certain level of enthusiasm to perform the triceps dips. There are three levels in the exercise and the difficultly level increases as you move into the next level.

How To Perform Triceps Dips?

Level 1 – Sit on the bench and place your hands on the bench (either side of your hips) Move your buttocks off the bench but make sure you do not totally move away from the bench. Keep your hands firmly on the bench and bring your body down (do not sit on the floor) and raise up to your normal position.

To make it simple, you are simply moving up and down (with your palms fixed at a position) and applying the pressure on your triceps which will burn your arm fat. Practice this 5 times.

Level 2 – You just have to stretch your legs forward and practice the triceps dips 5 times.

Level 3 – Stretch your legs completely such that there is no bend in your knees. Your legs should completely remain parallel to the floor. Practice the triceps dips 5 times.  

5)    Wall Plank To Burn Arm Fat

Wall plank is so easy and simple, you can perform it anytime. As the name itself suggests, you just need a wall to perform a wall plank.

How To Perform A Wall Plank?

Measure and mark a line, two feet away from the wall. Stand on the mark and lean forward to rest the palms on your wall. Your elbows should be straight when you are in the position. Push yourself forward such that your face is closer to the wall.

You will exert some force on your hands while trying to get back to your initial position. Repeat the exercise ten to fifteen times at a stretch (without giving a break)

Some Simple Tips To Lose Arm Fact Quickly

1)    Try to lift heavy weights and this includes performing household chores that involve lifting of heavyweights.

2)    Cut down on fatty foods as they are responsible for the building up of your arm fat.

3)    You can relax and move your arms more often whenever you are free.

4)    Say no to oestrogen high foods because these are one of the main reasons for the increase in arm fat.

Bottom Line

To make it simple, the secret to arm fat and achieve sleek arms is to be consistent with your workout regime and cut down on fatty foods and those foods that are high in oestrogen. Dream of achieving sexy arms and stick on to the exercises. You just have to be patient enough to wait for 6 weeks to see your dream come true.

Nothing is really impossible if you dream about it and work hard to achieve it.

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8 Genius Tricks To Improve Your Running Stamina

Do you tire too soon when you are out for a run? It may be exhausting to keep running, but it is also quite annoying to stop when you are in the middle of a serious run. Whether you have just started running or been running for years, you could use some tips to improve your running stamina so that you can run farther and better. When your stamina is naturally boosted, you can even go running for miles with all that lung capacity and muscle strength. Wondering how you can increase your endurance for running? Keep reading to know how!

1. Start With A Warm-Up

Running or jogging is an exercise, and just like any other exercise requires a warm-up, so does running. Take about 10 minutes or so to do some neck rotations, arm and shoulder stretches, waist rotations, spot jogging, and side lunges. Don't run with all your force at the beginning. Start slow, and gradually pick up speed. This will give your body enough time to adapt to the run, and your performance will improve.

2. Drink Enough Water

You cannot expect to have an excellent long run if you stay dehydrated. Running makes you sweat, causing water to drain out of your body. Drinking water before you start your run can stop you from slowing down. If you compromise on the amount of water you drink while running or exercising, it exhausts the other systems in the body and tires you out. An adequate amount of fluid intake ensures that you don't stop because of dehydration. Drink enough water throughout the day before the run and during the run as well. Keep a bottle of water always handy in case you need it during breaks.

3. Do Interval Training

One effective way to increase your stamina is by doing interval training. Nobody can run continuously for very long distances – it will eventually wear them out. Start by running hard for 30 seconds and follow it up with a slow walk or jog for 3 minutes. Repeat this five times. You can increase the reps and distance once your stamina builds up. Interval training keeps you more focused and increases your lung capacity as the distance increases.

4. Run With Company

Apart from physical exhaustion, even mental fatigue can get in your way. Plugging into the radio or music may help, but what works better is running with a friend. It keeps you both motivated and pushes you more to do your best. Research shows that you can tolerate more discomfort when you are in the presence of someone else. That's why it is always better to run with your partner or a friend – with a goal of getting fit together. It can uplift your mood and boost your stamina. So, the next time you plan on going for a run, ask a friend to tag along.

5. Watch Your Technique

Like any other exercise, running requires proper posture and proper breathing technique. On the run, the ideal posture should involve looking straight up ahead, keeping the chest up, shoulders rolled back, fists clenched, and thumbs inside, easing the arms, and loosening the neck. This proper posture will help you run better and farther. Along with the right posture, you also need to focus on your breathing and match your run with it. Inhale and exhale with every step and maintain this breathing to run more steadily and for a longer distance.

6. Wear The Right Gear

Your technique may be perfect, but if your gear doesn't live up to it, it is of no use. Your gear includes the right shoes and the right clothing. This is very important if you want to take your run seriously. Running shoes and sports clothing are specially engineered to offer comfort and safety to the wearer while performing any physical activity. Running in the right shoes is critical if you want to run for a long distance without straining or even hurting your legs. You can always consult an expert to get the right pair of running shoes and keep your foot alignment intact.

7. Set Your Goals Appropriately

You might have just started running, but are you already aiming too high? While it's good to challenge yourself, you shouldn't set a huge target in the beginning as it will wear you out too soon. You can increase the distance slowly over time. This way, you will be able to track a steady advancement in your running. Start with half a mile, then move on to 1-2 miles, and then slowly increase the distance. If you jump from half a mile to 5 miles, you will end up not being able to finish it and be too exhausted for the next run. Increase your mileage by about 10% each week and monitor your performance each time.\

8. Finish Off With A Stretch

You need to stretch not only before your run but also after it to cool down the muscles and prevent soreness. Once you are done with your run, stretch your neck, arms, and legs. You need to warm up to prevent your muscles from getting stiff. Doing this strengthens the muscles and increases your capacity to run better each time.

These are a few smart tricks to incorporate into your running routine to be able to do a good run. Once you start practicing these, you will experience a boost in your stamina, and your performance will gradually get better each time. So, start today!

Author Bio:

Nisha is passionate about writing and loves to share her thoughts with the world. She has written many articles on yoga, fitness, wellness, remedies, and beauty. She keeps herself updated by going through interesting blogs every day. This fuels her passion and motivates her to write appealing and engaging articles. She is a regular contributor to StyleCraze.com and a few other websites.

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Alexandra Daddario Talks Dogs, Yoga, and Working With 'The Rock'

Alexandra Daddario talks heavy lifting, dog-based workouts, and her two-time co-star, The Rock.
Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Last year's Baywatch movie might not have won any Oscars, but you don't play a lifeguard in that flick unless you're in phenomenal shape. So we were psyched to catch up with actress Alexandra Daddario—whom you might also know from San Andreas, American Horror Story, and, well, Instagram—to quiz her about all things training, nutrition, and The Rock. (And trust us, she has some pretty amusing things to say about that last one.) Here's what the beautiful brunette told us about heavy lifting, snacking wisely, dog-based training, and her two-time co-star, Dwayne Johnson.

The Internet says you got into weight training to prep for your role in Baywatch. How'd that go?

I started working out with Patrick Murphy, this amazing trainer in Los Angeles. The weight training helped me feel stronger, especially in my back, which didn't hurt as much. Women should look into it if they haven't before.

How else do you stay fit?

I do a ton of yoga. I find it more than just physically beneficial, but also emotionally. It's great to take an hour to just chill out, be away from your phone, and focus on positivity.

You've teamed up with Autotrader on their new dog adoption site, Dogtrader.com. Why should readers check it out, and do you work out with your own adopted dog, Levon?

I love this idea because like Autotrader with cars, Dogtrader helps you find the dog that matches your lifestyle easily. Plus, we need to get dogs out of shelters and into loving homes! And all the time! My dog actually makes me more active. We love to hike and explore different trails in Los Angeles. He's honestly the coolest dog ever.

Alexandra Daddario talks heavy lifting, dog-based workouts, and her two-time co-star, The Rock.
Courtesy of DogTrader.com

What go-to foods keep you feeling energized and healthy?

Salads, fish, and rice, especially before a workout. I keep Lara bars in my purse. I also love avocados. I'll cut one in half, put some olive oil and salt on it—that's a healthy and filling snack.

Was Baywatch your most physically demanding role, or does that honor fall to, say, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief?

That's close. Percy Jackson required intricate sword choreography, and I found that more challenging. It really brought out a side of me I didn't know existed—this tough warrior woman.

Your mom is a lawyer and your dad once headed the NYPD counterterrorism unit. Are you a badass by nature?

I think there's a lot to just working hard. Your full badass potential is reached when you work your butt off. My mom really worked her way up from nothing, and it was inspiring to see everything she accomplished growing up.

You've teamed up with M&F cover man Dwayne Johnson in both Baywatch and San Andreas. What might readers be surprised to learn about him?

Dwayne is a real-life superhero. He's incredibly hard-working and kind and supportive of people he works with—and really wants to see them succeed. We could all do with more of that in this world.

Be honest, you could totally out-bench-press him, right?

He's very strong, but some people say I have bigger pecs. Ha ha ha, sorry. But no, I could not out-bench press The Rock. I wouldn't take on that challenge.

TUNE IN: Watch for Daddario in Can You Keep a Secret? and the San Andreas sequel next year.

FOLLOW: Instagram (@alexandradaddario) and Twitter (@AAdaddario).


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The Uncrowned People's Champions: Günter Schlierkamp

The Uncrowned People's Champions: Günter Schlierkamp

At the upcoming Mr. Olympia, fans in attendance will have the chance to vote and influence the results.

At the pre-judging on Friday, Sept. 14, and at the following day's finals, those at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas will be given access, via their mobile devices, to enable them to vote on the outcome of the contest. Their votes will count toward the official decision. Collectively the fans will be included as an additional judge on the voting panel. If they choose a different winner than the other judges, that competitor will be awarded the honor of becoming the inaugural People's Champion. (To get your tickets and become part of Olympia history, go to mrolympia.com.)

Throughout the years, certain competitors, for various reasons, have held the mantle of the People's Champion long before it became an official title. Günter Schlierkamp is one of the outstanding competitors who has unofficially been given the People's Champ accolade by the masses.

At the behest of Joe Weider, Günter Schlierkamp was given a special invite to the 1998, 2000, and 2001 Olympias, where he finished 15th, 12th, and 15th, respectively. He was given another special invite for the 2002 Olympia, and no one predicted an upturn in his fortunes. But that year the giant German finished fifth and received a standing ovation, almost unprecedented in Olympia history. Three weeks later at the GNC Show of Strength staged in New Orleans, the 290-pounder caused a sensation by beating five-time O champ Ronnie Coleman and became the People's Champion. It still remains only the second time in the 53-year history of the Olympia that the incumbent of the throne has been beaten in a contest other than the Mr. Olympia. (The only other occasion was when Arnold Schwarzenegger beat reigning Mr. O Sergio Oliva at the 1970 Mr. World before wresting the Olympia crown from him two weeks later.)


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