How do I stay healthy and fit?

Posted on: December 29th, 2013

Welcome to guest blogger, Olga Arakelyan.

Hi Carole! Thank you so much for your kind invitation to write a guest post for your blog. But first, I’d like to share the story behind this article. In November, I published the post called “Being a healthy freelancer: your eyesight matters” where I shared some tips for those who, like me, suffer from overstrained and tired eyes. This post caused an active discussion both in my blog and in social networks and many more useful tips were shared by my colleagues.

It became my most popular post in November and made me realize that health is really a burning issue for freelancers. Maybe even more than for other people.  And yet we seldom talk about it and share our experience with one another.

That gave me an idea to start a new series of interviews with only one question: How do you stay healthy and fit? Any freelancer can take part and share his or her own experience. A few people have already used this opportunity and I am so thankful to them! Soon after the series started, Carole contacted me. Imagine my surprise when she asked me the same question: How do I stay healthy and fit? So here is my story:

One of the things you need to know about me is that from the age of three I was a very, very, very unhealthy kid. All I remember from my childhood is being at home sick. My mother says that there was a point when I got sick so often that she almost went crazy. Literally. I would get a cold, or flu, or some other disease – you name it! I think I had them all! I’d stay home for a few days and then I would get better and go to school. But too often I would get sick again almost immediately. That’s how bad my immune system was. And this cycle went on for many years!

So I spent most of my time at home from the age of three until about 13. But I managed to study at a special school where English was just as important as any other core subjects,  and I graduated from music school. My parents and doctors were really afraid to let me do practically anything that would require physical activity.

By the time I graduated from music school I was really tired of being so weak. So I started taking judo classes in a local sports club. After about a year of training I put on some much needed weight (I used to be really, really, really thin) and finally stopped getting sick so often. I continued training for one more year and then had to stop because my studies at the foreign languages department of a local university coincided with the time of judo classes.

But I still continued exercising at an aikido club (which was a mistake. I never really fell in love with aikido like I did with judo) and at home. Later, a couple years after my daughter was born, I noticed that my health slowly started to get worse again, and that’s when I got really scared. I don’t want to be always sick. I want my immune system to work! In order to do that and to make sure my family members have good health I do the following things:

1. I make sure we eat healthy food. We don’t eat junk food, and I very seldom fry anything. Instead, I either use a steam cooker, or a multicooker, or cook in the oven. We prefer tea to coffee and I love making cocktails with milk and different fruit, especially bananas. We eat a lot of fruit.

2. I don’t drink alcohol or smoke, or take any other substances that can harm me.

3. I love walking and do my best to walk as much as possible. My daughter’s school is about 15-20 minute walk from our place, so we walk there and back every day which makes it at least an hour of walking each day for me. I don’t walk only if the weather is really bad.

4. In winter my daughter and I go skating. Luckily, we have a skating rink very close to where we live. And in summer we go outside for a walk every day. Spending time outdoors is very important for us.

5. I take good care of my eyesight. Well, I guess you kind of already figured it out, right? J

6. I do my best to exercise every day. I am not a big fan of going somewhere to exercise, so I do it at home. First of all, I try to make small regular breaks while I work and do no fewer than 25 squats and 25 press-ups during one of the breaks. During busy days I do the squats and press-ups once, but I really prefer to do them twice a day. Periodically I also do this workout I found on YouTube a few months ago. I really like it.

7. Last year I almost killed myself because I worked too much. It was a very hard, but a good lesson. Now I make sure I take enough rest. And I do my best not to work after 7pm at all. But I get up at 6:15 the latest. I am most productive from early morning till about 14:00.

8. And I also make sure I get enough sleep. I need no less than seven hours to function well.

I would love to do more for my health, and I know there is definitely room for improvement for me in this area. But that’s the way I stay healthy and fit now and it works so far.

What about you? How do YOU stay healthy and fit? Share your tips in comments or drop me a message at olga @ yourprofessionaltranslator (dot) com

Olga Arakelyan is a professional freelance translator, a certified ESL teacher, and a blogger. She works in close collaboration with foreign business owners willing to expand their services to the Russian market. She translates from English and German into Russian and specializes mainly in marketing, music, real estate, tourism, and education. In 2011 Olga’s Twitter account @Olenkaarakelyan was included in the list of top 25 accounts of language twitterers, and in 2012 her LinkedIn profile became one of the most viewed profiles in the network. Olga is very proud to be one of the coauthors of the book “Diversification in the language industry” written by Nicole Y. Adams released in November 2013. You can also visit her English blog or, if you prefer reading in Russian, she’d be happy to see you in her Russian blog.

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4 Responses to “How do I stay healthy and fit?”

  1. Carole
    December 30th, 2013

    Great tips, Olga. I think healthy eating and regular exercise are crucial. I’m not quite sure why people eat junk food. You are what you eat….

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