“Make waves.”

We’ve all been there. You’re out for a run.

Whether listening to music, dialed into a podcast, or, if you’re like me, using no headphones at all, you’re totally in your world.

Maybe you’re focused on breathing, concentrating on form, or, if you’re like me, thinking about food – ALL the food.

Then, it happens. Another runner is approaching. It brings the big question: “Do I wave?” If you’re like me, the answer is yes. Yes, always wave. And here are 3 reasons why.

1. Give Yourself a Boost
When you do something nice, it makes you feel better. I’m pretty sure there’s some science that can back me up on all the ways being nice to others improves your mood, boosts your energy level, and offers other benefits. But rather than fact-check myself, I’m just going to say it with confidence – you can’t feel worse if you’ve done something nice for someone else. And waving at another runner is a nice gesture.

If you’re slumping mid-run or need a kick in the butt to pick up the pace, the opportunity to wave might be the boost you need. In addition to the kindness factor, there’s that little solidarity moment, knowing someone else is in it, too. So do it.

2. Give the Other Person a Boost
One of the reasons there’s hesitation to wave at another runner is risking rejection. No one wants to put out a wave and not get one back. It’s like going in for a high-five and being left hanging.


I don’t care how awkward I look – I’m giving the wave.

Even if the other runner doesn’t wave back, take comfort in the fact you likely made them feel good by giving them a wave. Maybe they were struggling or reached the point in the run where all they can think is, “everything hurts and I’m dying.” We’ve all been there and we runners are all in it together. Why not offer some motivation to each other.

Also, I think everyone could use extra kindness right now. We may be divided in numerous ways but health, wellness, and happiness are universal greats. So give your fellow runner a wave.

3. Safety
Okay, so this one isn’t geared towards waving at other runners. This one is all about waving to drivers. It’s still a reason to give a wave so hear me out.

When approaching a crosswalk and another car is present, it’s always a gamble to keep going, even if you have the right of way. Drivers are often in a hurry. Most are looking at other cars to see if they can peel out, not looking out for pedestrians to yield.

I’m a huge fan of giving a wave to drivers, any and all that I come in contact with while running. And more than waving, it’s making eye contact and acknowledging that they see me. I believe by doing this, the next time they come to a stop sign or light, they may be more inclined to look for runners.

I’m not saying we can make the world safer for all pedestrians just by waving…but if that’s your takeaway from reading this, I’m here for it.

Speaking of safety – I know it’s only February but summer running will be here soon. Here are tips to stay safe running in the summer. Also, daylight is growing by the day but it’s still pretty dark out there so here’s how to run safely when it’s dark.

Okay, runners – time to sound off. Where do you stand on the wave? Do you always wave at other runners? Why or why not? Do you prefer a simple head nod? The comments are all yours so please share.

Connect with me @lindsayinreallife on Instagram or @lindsayIRL on Twitter. And please subscribe to Wellness in Real Life so you get every new blog post right to your inbox – bonus, I haven’t been blogging as much lately so don’t worry, you won’t get a ton from me ☺


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