jogJogging is hard. Really hard. More hard than fun when you think of it. But we jog because we want to be healthy – even though it feels like we may die when we’re doing it.

And because of jogging’s degree of difficulty, it’s always nice to know that people are in the same boat as you. Whether it be a collective knowledge of what it takes to get out and move at a brisk pace for a few (or many) miles, or whether it be just good old “misery loves company,” seeing someone else engage in the same activity you are struggling through can really brighten your day.

Hence – the art of the jogging nod.

No one really knows when the jogging nod first gained prominence; some say it started when short shorts and knee socks were popular, so let’s just say for the sake of argument the mid-70s. But what we do know is that the act of nodding at a fellow jogger as he or she runs past you is of immense importance. It might be more important than actually jogging. It lets other joggers know that you are part of the same club. You are one.

But just as good form is important to jogging, so is good form crucial to the art of the jogging nod. Here are a few tips:

* Try to look your fellow jogger in the eyes right before you nod.

* Do not scream, “HEY! JOGGING?!” while you nod. It will frighten your fellow joggers.

* One nod is sufficient. Multiple nods will make you look insane.

* The nod should be done in an upward motion, leading with the chin.

* A downward nod is awkward and may strain your neck.

* A quick wave to go with the nod is fine.

* Do not attempt a hi-five with the nod. It’s presumptuous and never works.

And most importantly with the art of the jogging nod, if someone nods at you, always nod back. ALWAYS. Nothing is worse than giving out a jogging nod and not getting one in return. It is disrespectful, rude and utterly lacking in love. Don’t be that guy.

Remember, just because jogging is done alone doesn’t make it a lonely activity. There is a commonality to jogging that can and should be acknowledged to all those who participate. A jogging nod is that simple and easy acknowledgement. It lets you connect with others around you who share the same common goal as you do…

The goal to just finish.