Guest Post: 10 Tips to Staying Fit & Healthy in Physician Assistant School

PA school is stressful, we all know that! But when you’re studying and learning how to make your patients’ lives healthier and happier, it’s best to remember that you also need to do the same for yourself! I am excited to announce my partnering with current PA-C and fitness fanatic Mary Nguyen who has put together some of her best tips for staying healthy and fit in PA school!


The Freshman 15 – Been there, done that! With the hundreds of pages to read, SOAP notes to write, and anatomy to memorize, how is there time for anything else? Here are my top tricks to staying fit and healthy in physician assistant school to avoid any dreaded weight gain!

1)    Walk everywhere – After sitting for hours on end from 8-5 every weekday, I am ready to stretch the legs! Try to walk as much as possible – strolling during lunch, parking your car at the end of the lot, roaming the halls during every bathroom break, and taking the stairs rather than the elevator. I even walked while flipping through my flashcards!

2)    Never skip breakfast – We need our brain to be functioning at 110% to memorize all those crazy drugs for pharm! Feed your body so it can operate to its full potential.

3)    Sleep – That’s a joke right?! Aim for 8 hours of sleep (if possible). Cramming an extra hour or two won’t make a huge difference if you’re not functional enough to complete that 100-question test in 30 minutes.

4)    Exercise regularly – After 8 hours straight in a classroom, there was no way I could hit the books immediately. Take this time to burn off some calories, get the endorphins running, and de-stress so you can study for the 5 tests you have this week!

5)    Pack your lunch – Invest in a rice cooker, Crockpot, and Tupperware. I promise you, there are thousands of recipes that can be prepared in 15 minutes or less! Eat healthy, feel good, and you’ll do good in school

6)    Study on a stability ball – This will force you to keep your core and back engaged to keep those muscles nice and strong!

7)    Take advantage of your lunch– Have an hour? Try to squeeze in a quick 30-minute workout at the school gym! Plus, it will be empty!

8)    Drink water – Staying hydrated will keep you from snacking and binge-eating.

9)    Reduce stress – Remember to set aside a bit of time for yourself. Do something daily for yourself and stay in tune with your hobbies to channel out the stress.

10) Don’t sweat it – Stress is known to increase cortisol, resulting in weight gain. Don’t worry, PA school will be over before you know it and it will all work out!


Author’s Bio:

Mary Nguyen is a practicing physician assistant, former professional figure skater, figure skating coach, and online trainer. She is a blogger, YouTuber, and the creator of BalanceFitnessOnline, geared to connect with, inspire, and educate like-minded individuals. Her goal is to share her fitness journey, health and wellness tips, and fun travel videos to motivate all to “balance fitness, health, and happiness.” Find her on YouTube and Instagram @balancefitnessonline. –


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