Student Spotlight: Claire Pham

April 13, 2020 | Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: Kinesiology Senior Shares Health and Wellness Messaging through Social Media 

Photo of Claire Pham


What year are you at LSU, and what is your major?

I’m a senior Kinesiology major. My concentration is in Fitness Studies, and I’m also pursuing a minor in Psychology. 

Where are you from / where is your hometown?

I’m from Lafayette, Louisiana.

Tell us about your fitness project.

Over the last several years, I’ve held positions as fitness instructors. I was an instructor for two years at the LSU UREC, and also an instructor at TreadBR. I taught line dancing (group fitness classes) and personal training at the Leo Butler Community Center this spring (sadly, for only a short time). Interning at Leo Butler was my internship for this Spring semester, and I worked with men and women, ages 55 and above. I absolutely adored them and miss them dearly.

When the pandemic hit and everything essentially closed, I was unemployed and wasn’t doing the work that I loved. I was really missing that outlet. I also started to recognize that I needed to establish a routine for myself, focusing on health and wellness, during this time of uncertainty. So I started doing my own morning workouts, incorporating them into my daily routine.

I then realized how much this was benefiting me, and how I could share this with others through social media. My drive to put my work online stemmed from me missing my day-to-day internship as well.

I started an Instagram account called Don’t Sweat It about a year ago with the purpose of shedding light on the confusion, pressure and social constructs around women’s health. I feature workouts, healthy recipes and body positivity. And this account has turned out to be the perfect platform for me to share my workout videos during this pandemic.

How do you record your videos and manage this account?

It’s definitely a one-woman show right now! I essentially wake up, set up my tripod in my backyard patio and film the workouts. I then edit the footage and post it online. It does take time to produce this work, but I love being able to share my passion with others. Sweating is my therapy, and I hope that during this challenging time, it can help others, too.

Are you getting any positive feedback from people?

Yes, it’s been really exciting to see people engage with these videos. People are sharing them, posting Snapchats of themselves doing my workouts and I’ve even had people I haven’t talked to in awhile reach out to tell me how helpful these videos have been.

What would you say to your fellow students to encourage them?

I would definitely encourage my fellow students to find a routine that works for them. When it feels like things are out of control -- like it often feels right now! -- sticking with a schedule or creating daily habits can be so helpful and something you can control.

Overall, my top three pieces of advice would be: 

  • Have a routine: For me, I do my exercise and Instagram work in the morning and then tackle my schoolwork in the afternoons.
  • Schedule movement daily: Going outside, exercising or just taking a walk will positively impact your day and your mood.
  • Nourish your body the best you can: This can be really hard right now, but eating well helps with staying focused and benefits your physical and mental health.

We’re all in this together. I hope that my videos and messages can encourage people to not sweat the small stuff, but rather to “sweat to live life to the fullest!”

Follow Claire’s Instagram @WeDontSweatIt here!