Why Are We Smiling?

Ava’s got to ring a bell last week. That’s the tradition when a cancer patient finishes treatment. That happened last Friday when Ava got her last blast of radiation.


But, that wasn’t the first time time Ava smiled since she was diagnosed with breast cancer in September.

Most of the focus on getting fit is on the physical benefits. That’s understandable. There are a lot of ways you will improve your health when you Win at Fitness.

But, there’s another benefit that isn’t talked about as much. Fitness helps you smile more. Research backs this up. Exercise improves your emotions.

Ava is a runner. A week and a half after surgery to remove her cancer, Ava ran a half marathon. She ran another two weeks after that. Radiation began in early December. One of the side effects is a growing fatigue. And, it’s not the kind of fatigue a longer nap takes care of. Yet, Ava kept running.

I’m a walker. I get at least 20,000 steps every single day. In fact, I’m doing a 20k One Year Step Challenge with no breaks. (You can check out my daily update HERE) I just finished Week 18.

Ava and I have each found a fitness activity we love and it is helping us both Win at Fitness. It’s also helping us smile more.

There’s great joy in finding a fitness activity you love. (I wrote about this recently. You can read the full article HERE.) I have a friend who loves squats. I can’t even begin to comprehend that one, but it doesn’t matter. It works for her. What’s that thing for you? 

If you have struggled to win at fitness, you can make 2019 the year you turn that around. Those same physical and emotional benefits (including a few smiles) are waiting for you. Last week I started a five part series that will give you a plan to Win at Fitness through walking. You can read Part One HERE.

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Shortly before Ava’s radiation treatments ended she went for a seven mile run. The fatigue was getting stronger and that will continue for a couple weeks beyond her last dose. But, still Ava fights through that because she loves running. And, this seven mile run happened in the rain. She returned home tired, cold, wet, and…



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