The Two-Kilometer Rule

It’s been four months since the community quarantine began, which aimed to reduce the virus carriers’ mobility – us. Though the approach of every LGU differs, the impact of the pandemic is felt everywhere.

It is a blessing that I’m back in Daet, Camarines Norte with what’s been happening. I can’t really imagine the hardship of living in Metro Manila today.

I love the provincial living. However, I’m not too fond of the tricycle fare. Drivers charge a minimum of P10 for the first kilometer and another P1 per succeeding kilometer – pre-pandemic. It may not sound a lot, but some drivers charge more than required and even get annoyed if you pay the exact amount.

As a result, I made riding the tricycle as my last option and favored using my bike and walking more, which led to my frequent use of my two-kilometer rule.

What is the Two-Kilometer Rule?

The two-kilometer rule was initially a challenge between my sister and me when we were at Baguio during the 2019 Panagbenga Festival.

There was a massive influx of tourists in the city resulting in heavy traffic. Realizing that it will be difficult for us to visit the tourist spots while commuting, we decided to walk.

But there’s a catch, we need to walk as long as the destination is two kilometers away. If it exceeds two kilometers, we will ride a taxi or jeepney and endure the traffic.

I can still remember the cool weather that day, which suited our plan. And based on my Swarm App, here’s our itinerary in the afternoon just after lunch. 

FIrst stop: Teacher’s Camp (450m)

Next is the Botanical Garden (1.1km). Total of 1.55km.

Next is the Mansion House (1.2km) Total of 2.75km.

Crossing the street is the Wright Park (700m). Total of 3.45km.

Lastly, the Mine’s View Park (1.8km). Total of 5.25km

After dinner near Mine’s View Park, we rode a taxi back to the transient house we’re staying, since it’s more than two kilometers away and we’re already tired.

How would I know if its two-kilometers?

I live close to my work and the town center, so I have the advantage of mobility, and two kilometers is pretty close from my perspective. That’s why as long as the place I’ll go is two kilometers away, walking is my most viable option.

I usually use Google Maps to check where I am going, how far the place is, the best route to take, and how long it will take to get there. If it happens to be just a little bit over two-kilometers, I take it as an extra challenge to burn more calories.

What are the Advantages of the Two Kilometer Rule?

Normal people won’t try the two-kilometer rule, but I am a distance runner, so for me, the length is quite short. It also offers the following advantages:

1. Physical Health Benefits

It is well established that walking is physically healthy. It does not matter whether you complete the popular 10,000 steps a day or barely made half. What’s important is that you move more. Walking 4,000 steps per day is way better than being a couch potato all day.

Some benefits of walking include better sleep quality, reduced risks on many forms of lifestyle diseases like cancer and diabetes, it also makes for stronger bones and muscles, etc.

Plus, walking gives the advantage of physical distancing to other people during this pandemic.

2. Mental Health Benefits

Aside from its benefits for physical health, it is also helpful for our mental health. Different researches show that it can alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression and improves our mood. It can also boost creativity and memory.

With the pandemic causing many people anxiety, walking a few thousand steps per day may help.

3. Financial Health Benefits

If physical and mental health benefits are not enough, maybe an improvement in financial health can help. Here’s a scenario:

Currently (during modified general community quarantine), the tricycle fare in Daet is P15 for the first kilometer and additional P5 for every succeeding kilometer. 

If you live within 2kms from your work, you could save P200/week or P800/month or as much as P4,000 by December 2020 (as of writing Aug 1, 2020) just by walking.

What are the Exemptions to the Rule?

Of course, there are times when I can’t follow my own rule, but that’s okay. Here are some reasons:

1. During unfavorable weather conditions, such as when it is too hot or too rainy;

I usually go home during lunch break, so I will concede to riding the trike if the weather is too hot. 

2. When I am running late; and

I live less than a kilometer away from my work. And like anyone living close to his/her school or office, I am often running late. 

3. When my outfit is uncomfortable to walk in.

During occasions when I need to wear long sleeves and formal clothes, I have no choice but to commute.

So basically, I still ride tricycles more often than I want to.

Final Thought:

During the first few months of the community quarantine, especially during ECQ, it is noticeable that many people gained weight. So, to burn some extra calories, it is helpful to try walking every now and then.

The province of Camarines Norte is also fortunate to only have a few COVID-19 cases (as of Aug 1, 2020), which allows its citizens more mobility while still practicing the minimum health protocols prescribed by the national government.

The two-kilometer rule is not absolute. It is a personal challenge that I want to share with you, especially during this time. May each one of us remain mindful and vigilant. God bless and take care.

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