October: In shape with Erika

Thursday October 3, 2019
Erika Pharand

Happy October! Welcome to the first edition of campus recreation’s monthly fitness feature! Check out our website every month for a new piece highlighting something the University of Ottawa’s fitness team is proud of and would like to share with you.

This month, we’d like to tell you about one of our personal trainers who we just can’t help but brag about! Erika Pharand is a fourth year nutrition student, she’s well on her way to becoming a registered dietician. On top of her studies and own fitness routine, Erika has been working as a personal trainer, training in both French and English, at the University of Ottawa for over three years.

In this time, she has worked as a private and semi-private trainer, has taught group fitness classes and has developed and introduced new programs to the university’s fitness and recreation collection. She does it all! In September 2018, she lobbied for, created and led the Strength for Life program, which focuses on active aging and continues to run and to fill-up year round. In July 2019, she introduced a weekly boot camp for students, a program that saw great success in the warm summer months.

Erika loves teaching different classes and loves participating in them. About her summer student bootcamp, Erika shared that she already taught Desk Jockey, a boot camp for uOttawa employees, so she saw this opportunity and got excited to create a boot camp open to students. “Outdoor boot camps are so much fun and it’s a great way to be active while enjoying the sun”, she told us.

When we asked her what the most important thing she wished people knew regarding health and fitness, she told us she wants them to know that everything is possible! That you can be the best version of yourself; you just have to put yourself to it. Erika approaches health and fitness as a balance; having a healthy and balanced lifestyle is key. You have to find what works for you in your life; there is no single answer.

She also shared with us that in her work as a personal trainer, the aspect that makes her the most proud is watching her clients develop a love of working out and having it become a part of their daily routine. She chose this line of work as it allows her to share her passion for fitness and its benefits with others. Her job is to teach people to exercise and it fuels Erika to see her clients eventually able to do it on their own. Erika works towards seeing her clients be able to stay motivated, enjoy being active and having a well-balanced healthy lifestyle.

“I love supporting my clients in changing their behaviors and approach towards health and fitness.”

Good news for any of you who felt inspired by Erika’s story; she is currently taking on new personal training clients. Check out her bio as well as the other uOttawa Personal Trainer profiles if you’re interested in working with a trainer. Along with Erika, a dedicated, caring and client-centered trainer who has brought innovation to uOttawa’s fitness programs, we have a number of talented trainers on staff who we can’t wait to tell you more about!