My grandmother used to say that not all bad things come to harm, meaning that sometimes there are negative situations that contain some positive elements that, without them, would never have been revealed. In other words, it is an exhortation to always find a positive side to things and although it is just a proverb, I have always tried to put it into practice.
The events of the last few days have created a surge in energy and commodity prices across the planet due to both the ongoing war in Ukraine and the interdependence of the world's countries on each other, brought about by globalisation. Rightly or wrongly, the point is that we are facing a scenario in which many people will have to downsize their lifestyles in order to cope with rising prices, cutting unnecessary expenditure and reviewing certain behaviours.
From the point of view of the proverb quoted by Grandma, this situation could turn out to be positive if one decides to make choices that keep one's own well-being in mind as a priority.
In the collective imagination, the gym and fitness in general are considered expendable expenses, as if one's own well-being were something to be renounced. Except, of course, to spend a lot of money on aperitifs and dinners out with the excuse that Covid has kept us indoors too long and we need to get back to socialising.
So why not take this opportunity to give your lifestyle a healthier and less wasteful twist? Instead of giving up the gym, I mean the globe gym, maybe you could join CrossFit or start practicing some sport that not only gives you aesthetic results, but is also good for your spirit. So maybe give up the spritzers.
Gas has gone through the roof? Well, you might consider walking or riding a bicycle to work, but not the electric kind, which consumes expensive electricity; I mean the kind that you pedal and it takes you where you need to go. I understand that for many people the car is essential to get to work, especially if it is far from home, but whenever possible, give up the car and walk.
Many of you weren't even born in 1973, but you should know that in 1973, during the austerity caused by the war involving the Suez Canal and the skyrocketing cost of oil, walking was compulsory on Sundays. So nothing new there.
Maybe it's because I like to walk, but I've been doing it ever since and I have to say that I use my car very little. The same goes for going to the supermarket; instead of buying a trolley full of stuff every week, I buy what I need from day to day and carry it easily in my backpack. It doesn't seem like such a big sacrifice to me, and I get a little extra exercise in the meantime.
Electric bike? No thanks. Maybe it's because I'm old-fashioned, but for me a bike is one in which you pedal without assistance, otherwise it's not a bike but something else. What's more, if we really have to save money, we might as well save on the small things like charging the battery of the bike and the scooter. I repeat, we can finally implement behaviours that are favourable to our health, why do we have to waste electricity to do something that man has done very well on his own for decades? some like to pedal.
As cereals increase in price, so do so-called staples such as bread and pasta? What better time to start eating properly, limiting not only these foods but also all the food waste we have become accustomed to? After all, if food costs more, we will have to eat again, and perhaps we will discover that we can live just as well without many of those products that we have always considered indispensable.
I'm not saying that we should all switch to the paleo diet, not least because it's not exactly cheap, but I would suggest instead that we start by evaluating our calorie intake and avoiding various excesses with the excuse that "then I'll work out and get rid of everything".
Believe me, hunger is a different matter and it's not by giving up a protein bar in favour of, say, a chicken leg that we're going to starve. Many people will probably be forced to scale down their concept of satiety, but in most cases, there will be positive health effects.
With the arrival of summer, the heating in the houses will gradually be turned off, generating a certain saving on the energy bill. This would have been feasible even before if, instead of keeping 20 degrees in the house, we had been satisfied with something less. No, because here we have people who profess to be followers of Wim Hof, who bathe in frozen lakes and then keep Finnish sauna temperatures at home.
However, as the summer progresses, it will get warmer and with it the air conditioners will be switched on again. They consume energy. But what if we leave them off? Not so much for the sake of saving money, but because air conditioning is not exactly the best in many respects, from health to ecological. I don't think we will die even if we have to endure the heat of summer. And after all, for many the choice between the heat and not making ends meet will be a compulsory one. It will be interesting to see which choices will prevail.
And stop complaining regardless because if here we are talking about walking more and eating less, in other parts of the world we are talking about surviving the bombs.