Duke Physician Assistant Program students from the Class of 2018 created a "12 Days of Fitness" video series to keep fellow classmates and others focused on health and fitness during this holiday season. Maxwell Prior, first-year physician assistant student, answered a few questions about the video series.
Who is involved in the 12 Days of Fitness?
Prior: The 12 Days of Fitness has been a collaborative effort involving more than half of the Class of the 2018, as well as several faculty and staff members. Tammy Karant, Stead Society Vice President, in consultation with the Health & Wellness committee, spearheaded the program, which has taken on a life of its own. By adapting the workouts to their own schedules and documenting creative interpretations of the exercises, often in groups, participants share ownership of this initiative.
How did this idea come about?
Prior: Tammy hatched the idea and brought it to me as chair of the recently formed Health & Wellness Committee. After discussing it with other Stead Society officers and faculty liaison, Dr. Jacqueline Barnett, we put our heads together with other Health & Wellness Committee members to develop a simple timeline and program design. We presented the idea at a Student-Faculty meeting, where it was met with great enthusiasm and has since been gaining momentum.
What is your goal with these videos?
Prior: In view of the time management and self-care challenges facing PA students, especially nearing the end of our first term, we hope not only to keep each other and ourselves accountable for our health in a fun and supportive way, but also to spread an awareness of the convenience and simplicity of bodyweight exercises as a reliable alternative to more time-consuming and travel-dependent ways of staying active. We aligned the daily workout progression with our academic calendar so that we might strike a celebratory balance between academic achievement and healthful habits.
How are the exercises chosen?
Prior: The exercises were chosen at a Health & Wellness committee meeting from attendees’ shared prior knowledge. We drew upon a common repertoire of movements that do not require advanced technical skill to perform safely, favoring full-body exercises and targeting different muscle groups as evenly as possible.