Happy Diwali 2017!

Happy Diwali 2017!

Happy Diwali ReviewFitHealth readers!

 

 

 

Diwali, the festival of lights, sees millions attend firework displays, prayers and celebratory events across the world every autumn.

Celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains for a variety of reasons, the main theme is the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil.

Here we take a look at one of the most significant festivals in Indian culture.

What is Diwali?

Also known as Deepavali, a Sanskrit word meaning “rows of lighted lamps”, it is one of the most popular Hindu festivals celebrated across South Asia.  But it is also celebrated by Jains and Sikhs.

The festival of lights that celebrates the victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.

It sees millions of earthenware oil lamps, called diyas, light up people’s homes, shops, public spaces and places of worship as part of celebrations which marks the start of the Hindu new year.

When is it celebrated?

Diwali falls between October and November, but the exact date changes each year as it is marked by the Hindu lunar calendar.

It lasts five days in total, with the festival of lights falling on the third days of celebrations, which is marked on the 15th day of the Hindu month Kartik.

This year that falls on 19 October.

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Mayor of London Sadiq Khan lights a ceremonial candle at the Diwali Festival at Trafalgar Square in London (AP)

What are the different legends being celebrated?

For many Hindus, Diwali celebrates the return of the deities Rama and his wife Sita to Ayodhya, an ancient Indian city believed to be the lord’s birthplace, following a 14-year period in exile and a battle fought by Rama and his army against the demon Ravana.

The demon had kidnapped Sita and Rama travelled along with Hanuman, the deity in the form of a monkey-man, to rescue her and kill the evil demons – as depicted in the epic “Ramayana”.

Their victorious return home was celebrated by lighting the kingdom with lamps.

Diwali also celebrates the goddess of wealth and prosperity, Lakshmi. Some believes it falls on her birthday and the day she married Lord Vishnu.

Many in India leave their windows and doors open and light lamps to allow Lakshmi to find her way into their homes.

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Dancers perform a traditional Indian dance during the Diwali festival of light celebrations, in Trafalgar Square (Reuters)

Many Sikhs celebrate the release of the sixth guru Hargobind Singh and 52 other princes from prison in 1619.

However Sikh celebrations for Diwali stretch further back than this date.

For Jains, it is a celebration of their Tirthankara, or spiritual leader, specifically their 24th of the current age, Tirthankar Mahavira, reached Moksha – the release from the death and rebirth cycle into infinite bliss and knowledge.

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Fireworks fill the sky during the Diwali lights switch on in Leicester (Reuters)

How is it celebrated?

Diwali is part of a five day festival that is celebrated with music, lights, fireworks and sharing traditional sweets.

Many people prepare for the festival by cleaning and decorating their homes, and on the night of celebrations wear new clothes and take part in family puja, or prayers to Lakshmi.

Rangoli artwork – patterns and designs made from coloured powders, ground rice powders and flowers – are displayed, commonly depicting a lotus leaf.

Celebrations held across the UK included an annual festival in London’s Trafalgar Square presented by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

This had a programme of music and dance performances with traditional food available and activities such as yoga and henna.

Leicester’s celebrations, which are understood to be one of the biggest outside of India, saw 40,000 people turn up to watch the annual Diwali lights switch-on, with music and dancing held on the city’s Golden Mile.

It ended with a firework display.

Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe

Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe

HOW TO BUILD A MINIMALIST CAPSULE WARDROBE

Looking to take “less is more” literally? Here’s how.
Photo: Instagram/@caroline_joy

Photo: Instagram/@caroline_joy

If you’ve ever felt exhausted by the number of little choices you have to make every day, you’re not alone. That exhaustion is a real thing called decision fatigue, and it’s scientifically proven to take a toll on your ability to make good choices by the end of the day. It’s one reason why a lot of important people — from Steve Jobs and Barack Obama to a whole host of fashion designers — have chosen to cut down on the number of decisions they make every day by wearing essentially the same thing over and over.

 

But for some fashion-lovers, uniform dressing can seem stifling. Luckily, there’s another alternative that allows for a little more play: capsule wardrobes.

Caroline Rector, the blogger behind Unfancy who helped re-popularize capsules in recent years, describes capsuling as “a practice of editing your wardrobe down to your favorite clothes (clothes that fit your lifestyle and body right now), remixing them regularly, and shopping less often and more intentionally.”

Usually, a capsule consists of a set number of pieces of clothing that you wear for a season before starting the next capsule. Clothing is only added to the selection at the start of each capsule, encouraging you to remix and re-wear rather than shopping for new pieces.

Operating with a capsule wardrobe reduces decision fatigue because it leaves only clothing you really love that works interchangeably in your wardrobe. It’s the minimalist principle of “less is more” lived out in a tangible way. But there are a host of other benefits to switching to the capsule model, too. Capsule fans claim the method can curb an out-of-control shopping habit, help you get to know your own style better, save closet space and boost environmental and social responsibility by reducing consumption.

Ready to build your own minimalist capsule wardrobe? Here’s how to start.

TAKE STOCK OF YOUR WARDROBE

You’re only going to be living with a set number of pieces for the next three months, so you want to make sure you pick those pieces mindfully. Doing that well requires taking a serious look at what’s already in your closet.

“If you’re going to give capsuling a shot, go all in. Literally empty your closet onto your bed, and only add back in the items you love,” advises Seasons + Salt blogger Andrea Hartman, who first started capsuling three years ago. “It will be eye-opening.”

It might seem like a lot of work, but laying everything in your wardrobe out where you can see it all at once is a good way to get a comprehensive view of what you own, connecting what works well together and noting what percentage of your possessions you actually wear regularly. You’ll also want to earmark any pieces that need mending before inclusion — if you adore those camel boots but the heel has started coming off, check whether it’s something that can be fixed or needs to be replaced before starting the capsule.

PICK WHAT’S GOING IN YOUR CAPSULE

Your capsule should have about 35 pieces including tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear and shoes. Items that should not be included in this number include loungewear, sleepwear, underwear, workout clothes you wear only for working out (as opposed to athleisure you might wear elsewhere) and accessories — those are all freebies.

If you’re not sure whether a specific item should count among your 35 or not, remember: pieces that are necessary for one occasion (like a gown for a fancy wedding) don’t count as long as you only wear them for that specific activity or event. So if you only wear your one-piece swimsuit to the beach, for example, it doesn’t count, but if you’re going to style it as a bodysuit with your normal clothes, it does.

As you consider what to include in your capsule, ask yourself: Can I style it multiple ways? Is it something I know I’ll actually wear based on a track record of wearing it in the past? Is it appropriate for the season and temperature? Is it well-made enough that I trust it to last through the next three months with repeated wear?

STORE EVERYTHING ELSE

Once you’ve selected your 35 or so capsule pieces, pack the rest of your clothing up and store it out of sight, if space permits. This will both make it easier for you to stick to your original capsule — no temptingly blurred lines — and will also help you figure out what pieces you might be able to purge at the end of the capsule. Did you totally forget about that tank top that you hid from sight, even though it was summer? That may be a sign that you can let go of it permanently, making for even less long-term clutter.

TRY IT FOR THREE MONTHS

Once you’ve picked your capsule and stored everything else, you’re ready to live in it. Wear only the pieces in your capsule (and the free-pass items like underwear and loungewear) for three months straight.

Some parts of this step will be easy, like picking outfits you’ve already loved in the past. But even if it gets hard, it’s worth sticking with the rules you gave yourself — not only will you learn more about what really works best for you, but you might also find yourself coming up with creative new ensembles you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. And if a little wardrobe boredom rears its head, don’t assume it means that capsuling isn’t for you.

“Boredom is normal in all parts of life,” notes Anne Sage, a blogger and authorknown for her minimal aesthetic. “So when it does come, rather than lamenting it, it’s good to learn to roll with it.” After all, why would you expect your wardrobes to be immune to a malady that the rest of your life isn’t?

Elliptical Workouts For Weight Loss

Elliptical Workouts For Weight Loss

 A  workout by Chris Freytag to try in your gym or at home if you own your own equipment. 

3 Elliptical Workouts For Weight Loss

Fitness: Workouts

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Lose weight with these 3 different elliptical workouts.

The elliptical machine is one of the best fitness inventions to come around in recent history. It’s got the sweet combination of allowing you to work as hard as you want while keeping it all completely low-impact. You will see everyone from serious athletes to those recovering from injuries on these machines, and for good reason: there are tons of benefits to elliptical workouts.

Benefits of Using The Elliptical

  • Gives you a low-impact cardio workout that’s easier on your joints
  • Accessible enough that all fitness levels can participate; even if you’re getting back into exercise after an injur
  • Works your total body
  • Helps improve balance and mobility
  • Offers quick workouts for busy days.

It’s clear we love elliptical workouts, but like any form of cardio, variety is the key to keeping it fresh and fun—and keeping your body challenged. You can’t just hop on the machine every day and go at a steady state expecting to lose weight, tone up, or change your body. Plus, we’ve been there/done that, and it gets BORING! Yes, the console probably has several elliptical workout programs for you to try, but if you are looking for something new or different, we’ve got three intense, calorie-burning workouts for you to choose from.

3 Elliptical Workouts For Weight Loss

Try these intense interval-style elliptical workouts to boost your weight loss.In order to keep challenging you body (and prevent boredom) you simply need to vary your incline and your resistance. Almost all ellipticals offer a ramp or incline which simulates the sensation of going up a hill—this is the incline—and this helps work your glutes and legs. You can also up your resistance to increase your effort and calorie burn. And lastly, you can change what you’re doing on the elliptical by changing the direction you’re pedaling.

We’ve utilized these tactics to give you three interval-based, calorie-burning elliptical workouts to help you lose weight. These workouts are designed to make your elliptical time a little more interesting, and a little more challenging to work different muscle groups and keep you on your toes. Find the elliptical workout that matches your needs and timeframe below. They go from 15 minutes to 20 minutes and lastly, a 30-minute elliptical routine. Plus, we made all of the elliptical workouts printable! Just click on the workout, print and take it with you to the gym or your home machine.

Lunch Time Calorie Crunch Elliptical Workout

When you only have 15-minutes, you need an elliptical workout that gets your heart rate up and torches calories fast. Enter: Our Lunch Time Calorie Crunch. Changing up the resistance and incline often in this quick workout helps you make the most of your time. (By using varying inclines and resistance levels, you move your heart rate through different zones.) Plus, you’ll alternate between pedaling backwards and forwards which helps you work all your leg muscles in one workout. This 15-minute workout will let you get in and get out while burning calories in record time.

Related: 4 Treadmill Workouts To Beat Boredom

20-Minute Tabata Elliptical Workout

Have 20-minutes to spare? Then you’ll love this Tabata elliptical routine. This workout gives the elliptical a fresh spark using the tabata interval training technique. Tabata is a form of HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training. By going as hard as you can for 20 seconds and then resting for 10 seconds several times in a row, you keep your brain busy and your heart pumping. The incline remains 5.0 the entire workout, but the resistance and the pace or speed at which you push changes. So have fun and enjoy the ride!

Go Big Interval Challenge Elliptical Workout

This 30-minute interval challenge will rev your metabolism and make the time fly as you change your resistance and use speed intervals to crank up your metabolism. Pay attention to the column on the right that says “feeling” and adjust the speed you pedal to match that feeling. Try to vary the forward and backward motion between the intervals to keep all your leg muscles working evenly.

And that’s it! Try one of these interval-style elliptical workouts and let us know how you liked them. When you want to increase your calorie burn and decrease workout boredom, these can become your new best friends.