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Where fitness and education meet   


Sponsors for ELS18:

Presenters' Gift Sponsor:

Susan Hill of Artisans Window https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/Artisianswindow

Door Prize AND Award Recipients' Gift Sponsor:
Loblaws/Atlantic Super Store.


The Nova Scotia Fitness Association is a non-profit organization.

Key Note Presenter: Laurie di Giulio

This year we are doing something a little different with the schedule.  We will have one session that all members/delegates attend.  This will be a keynote presentation from RMT Laurie di Guilio. 

The Hip Hinge. The Fountain of Youth.

The hip hinge is a crucial movement pattern that permeates all aspects of our lives from infancy into adulthood. It is a movement pattern that we master as children but lose as adults. The loss of the ability to properly hinge at the hips increases load on the lumbar spine, compression of the SI joints and strain on the knees. It can increase the chances of developing low back pain, disc trauma, knee pain and injury. As we age, the loss of the hip hinge can increase our likelihood of falling which can severely impact quality of life in the elderly and even lead to sooner death due to complications from a fall. In this way, maintain the hip hinge pattern has the ability to add years to our life. It can be a fountain of youth. This presentation will introduce you to ways to assess the hip hinge (or deadlift) pattern, how to breakdown the movement into incremental stages, modifications and alternatives, and common problems/myths associated with the hinge/deadlift. Whether you work with elite level athletes or people in their 80's, practicing the hip hinge will bring improved performance, strength and prevent injuries across all populations.

Visit Laurie's website for more information on her work.

#ELS18 Presenters & Sessions

1. Greg Simmons on Trends VS Fads

Greg Simmons - Fitness Business Consultant

Over the past 25 years, Greg has developed an extensive knowledge of effective business and fitness facility management.  His approach is deeply rooted in the desire to understand the needs of the consumer and his passion for delivering exceptional customer experiences. Greg’s creativity, knowledge, communication style, and ability to assess situations has been a successful formula when providing big picture planning, solving issues and accomplishing objectives for his clients.

Greg's website:   www.healthsystemsgroup.com

Trends VS Fads

Being on the cutting edge and the first one to offer the “next big thing” in fitness seems like a great idea. Your staff, Club members, and class participants LOVE new fitness experiences! They’re exciting and can transform your business; but, there’s also a negative side. Adopting something unproven for “the flash” rather than “the substance” can also affect your credibility. Learning how to spot and select fitness trends, over fads, is the key to a successful investment of your time, energy, and resources. In this session, we will

  • explore the difference between trends and fads
  • review current and emerging trends (what’s hot and what’s not)
  • establish some criteria to help with decision making and planning

2. Maria Radelich on Fitness & the Pelvic Floor

Maria Radelich - Physiotherapist

Maria is a physiotherapist who completed her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Honours from Acadia University and went on to complete her Masters in Physiotherapy from Dalhousie University.  During her time at Acadia, Maria found her passion for helping others by working as an Athletic Trainer with the Varsity Men’s soccer team. She then went on to work with various sports teams that included the University of King’s College Women’s basketball team, the Halifax City Senior Men’s soccer team and the TASA Bantam AA hockey team.  Although sports injury is a major focus for Maria, she has completed her training in pelvic health where she integrates her sports knowledge to assist treating athletes with pelvic dysfunctions. Maria believes that no one should be limited by pelvic dysfunction and considers various treatment options to help her patients continue living a healthy lifestyle. 

Maria's website:  www.choicehealthcentre.ca

Fitness and the Pelvic Floor

Maria will be discussing the role of the pelvic floor and common dysfunctions that occur through exercise and physical activity, providing tips for safe and effective exercise to those with pelvic floor dysfunction. She will also provide quick assessment tricks fitness professionals can use to assess dysfunction in the core and pelvic floor.

3. Wanda Martin presents STRONG by Zumba® (Master Class)

Wanda Martin

Wanda has the FIS certificate with CanFitPro™, LesMills certifications in SH'BAM™(AIM2) and BODYVIVE™ 3.1, and Zumba® ZIN™, POUND®, and STRONG by Zumba® instructor licenses. She has worked in the fitness world for 7 years, is part of the Latin dancing community and a Ladies choreo team and has participated in community events throughout HRM.  She went to university in her home in NFLD at MUN and also Ryerson Unversity in Toronto where she attained a Biochemistry degree in Food Science and another in Public Health and has worked in both the private and public sectors. She lives with her husband in Bedford along with their little senior doggy, Snookie. She loves to incorporate her passion for music, dance and fitness in her classes by making it easy for others to enjoy with her!

STRONG by Zumba®

Click here for a clip of STRONG by Zumba®  on YouTube

STRONG by Zumba® is a High-Intensity Interval workout program which is driven by the tempo of ZUMBA® music. There are NO dance rhythms like regular ZUMBA fitness, just the amazing music driving you to work harder on the beats. It combines body weight, muscle conditioning, cardio and plyometric training moves synced to original music specifically designed for every move.

4. Emily Rogers & Allison Keller on
High Intensity Interval Exercise (HIIE) on Brain Excitability and Motor Learning

Emily Rogers & Allison Keller

Emily Rogers and Allison Keller are students from the Laboratory from Brain Recovery and Function at Dalhousie University. Emily is from Bridgewater NS, and she is currently a graduate student working toward her Master’s in Rehabilitation Research at Dalhousie. She previously studied at Acadia University where she completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Biology. Allison is from Ottawa and is currently a Kinesiology student at Dalhousie, working toward her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with Honours. 

High Intensity Interval Exercise (HIIE) on Brain Excitability and Motor Learning

This session will examine the effects of High Intensity Interval Exercise (HIIE) on brain excitability and motor learning. Motor skill learning can be improved if the cells in the area of the brain responsible for movement are more excitable, and one method to increase excitability in the brain is exercise.

5. Virginia McIntyre on Bone Health

Virginia McIntyre BA, RTR, RTMR, Coldbrook, NS

Virginia has been working in health care for over 25 years as a Radiological Technologist and in 2011 earned her Diploma in Magnetic Resonance Imaging. In 2011 she also specialized in Bone Mineral Density. Working with Osteoporosis patients gave her an insight into how the disease impacts a person's quality of life. She now takes every opportunity to educate, share and advocate for those living with osteoporosis.Virginia is an active executive member with the Canadian Osteoporosis Patient Network (COPN). She also sits on the Nova Scotia Fracture Liaison service committee and the Osteoporosis Canada Fracture Risk Assessment working group. Virginia is a recent recipient of the 2017 Backbone Award from Osteoporosis Canada.

Virginia is committed to COPN's mission to offer Canadians timely, convenient access to scientifically sound information on osteoporosis care, and support those struggling with the challenges of Osteoporosis.

Bone Health

Over 80% of all fractures after the age of 50 are caused by osteoporosis. Learn about Osteoporosis and strategies to help reduce fracture risk. Presentation will provide education on bone basics, nutrition, exercise and movement. Also learn about the role of the Fracture Liaison Coordinator, Canadian Osteoporosis Patient Network (COPN) and fitness instructors in preventing future fractures.

6. Grant Hatcher on Meditation

Grant Hatcher

Grant was born and raised in Cape Breton Nova Scotia. He loves playing sports and spending time with his family. Grant has always been curious about why humans do what they do. That's why he obtained an honours degree in Psychology from MSVU. From there he began traveling the world and practicing meditation. He is now settled down in Halifax and combines the scientific and spiritual aspects of meditation, psychology and hypnosis to help clients 1-on-1 and teach group classes.


This session will be broken down into 3 components. In the first component, Grant will discuss the scientific research behind meditation and what this means in terms of fitness. As well, he will talk about the practical and mental health benefits. The second component will involve a short, 20 minutes or so, guided meditation. This way everyone will get a chance to experience meditation with the help of an experienced instructor. The final stage of this presentation will be an open discussion to talk about the experience and discuss how to apply these techniques in everyday life!

7. Laura Lundquist on Valgus Knee

Laura Lundquist, Physiotherapist, MScPT, FCAMPT

Registered International Sports Physical Therapist

Advanced Diploma in Manual and Manipulative Therapy

Owner, Zoomers Physiotherapy & Health Solutions

Laura’s passion is helping people return to or maintain function despite an injury or illness.  Her experience in sport physiotherapy and private practice orthopedics has given her a unique perspective and ability to help people achieve these goals.  She has a particular interest in helping people maintain a healthy level of physical activity despite normal age-related changes that happen to us all… this was how the idea for Zoomers Physiotherapy and Health Solutions was born!

Laura graduated from Mount Allison University in 2001 and from McMaster University School of Physiotherapy in 2003. She has since completed post-graduate courses in manual and manipulative therapy, acupuncture and sport physiotherapy.  She holds the highest level of Canadian certification in both manual (hands-on treatment) and sport physiotherapy. Laura is a certified Tai Chi Instructor and teaches the Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention at Zoomers.

Laura has worked in private practice/sports medicine clinics in British Columbia, Toronto and Halifax treating orthopedic and sports injuries. She has worked with sports teams (including hockey, rugby, lacrosse, badminton, tennis, weight-lifting and soccer) and provided medical coverage from local to international sporting events. Most recently, she travelled with the senior women’s Sevens Rugby Team to Amsterdam (2011) and worked as part of the core medical team for Canada at the Pan Am Games in Guadalajara (2011) and the World University Games (FISU) in Kazan, Russia (2013).

Identifying and Managing the Valgus Knee to Maximize Performance and Minimize Injury Risk

This session will include a brief overview of the anatomy of the "valgus knee".  The impact of this dynamic postural fault on exercise performance and injury risk will be presented.  The majority of the session will be a practical session reviewing:

- exercise technique evaluation

- management strategies for traditional exercises 

- targeted exercises that improve control of the lower extremity and limit valgus stress at the knee

Participants are asked to dress in clothing that allows easy exposure of the leg up to the mid-thigh (ie: shorts, pants that roll up etc).

8. Judi Harvey on Abs, Abs, Abs and a Ball or Two
Judi Harvey

Judi Harvey has been in the fitness industry for 25 years. She began her fitness career in Ottawa, ON and continues to learn and grow in the industry. She teaches group fitness, older adult fitness (her favourite demographic), step, Aqua, kickboxing, Zumba (Gold, Kids, Aqua). She is a Stott Pilates certified instructor, and is also a certified Yoga Instructor. She began teaching part of the GEL and AEL for the NSFA while working at the Dartmouth Sportsplex, and is now the Aqua Exercise Leader course conductor.

Abs, Abs, Abs and a Ball or Two
An abdominal driven workout, focusing on working on the unstable surface of a mini stability ball, and how to use that to deepen and focus our exercises.  We will talk about the importance of the transverse abdominis and the deep pelvic floor, and how their engagement helps stabilize and enhances our abdominal work, also, where to find those particular muscles. You will also learn how to work in a 3 dimensional range of motion for a complete core work out.

9. Melissa Millar on 10 Essentials to Post Natal Posture and Core

Melissa Millar

Melissa Millar is a dynamic fitness professional involved in the industry for over 20 years. She is a Certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Fitness Workshop Presenter, and Trainer Educator. With degrees in Kinesiology and Dance she went on to complete certifications from YMCA Canada, Can-Fit-Pro, the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), ZUMBA, and most recently, YogaFit. In 2009 she was awarded the Fitness Instructor of the Year- Freestyle, New Zealand. She is now the owner of a fitness training company called MOTIVA Wellbeing and Fitness, specializing in personal and small group training in home, fitness classes & workshops, and corporate wellness programs.

10 Essentials to Post Natal Posture and CoreThere are many considerations when working with women immediately after pregnancy. Giving birth affects more than just the core muscles and being a new mom puts a huge strain on all the posture muscles. In this session learn the 10 essential exercises for post natal mothers and understand the effects of diastasis recti on regaining core strength. Leave confident that you can safely train all new moms.  This session is not just for pre/post-natal specialist trainers, it's for everyone who teaches clients and classes of all levels.


Full Day NSFA Member - $100Half Day NSFA Member - $50Full Day Non-Member - $125Half Day Non-Member - $62.50

Schedule for the day9:00-9:30am - Meet & Greet/Sign In  

9:30-10:45 Session A

11:00-12:15 Session B

12:15 - 1:30 Lunch

1:30-2:45 Session C

3:00 - 4:15 Session D - Keynote Presentation

4:30-7:30 CPR re-certification, Lifesaving Society

Brunch 2017

This year the presenter is Laurie Di Guilio, some of you may remember her from the Summit. Her topic is:

Balance vs. Proprioception

Balance and proprioception may be related but they are not the same. Do you bring these skills into your classes/training? Are you unknowingly putting your clients at a disadvantage by using techniques that eliminate their ability to earn good balance and proprioception? In this lecture, we will explore the emerging research related to improving balance and proprioception. We will discuss training tools like BOSU balls, balance boards and foam pads and what affects they really have on improving balance and performance. We will discuss the physiology of the feet and the role small nerves play in making us aware of the ground beneath us, and allowing for proprioception. We will go through some simple drills to help you bring proprioceptive and balance work into your classes and training sessions.

NSFA members will earn 2 CECs for attending this session. 

Certified fitness professionals from other organizations and professionals from other industries must inquire with their own associations as to how many credits they can earn or this event. 


Location: Mount St. Vincent University, Rosaria Student Centre


Registration/Check - In - 9:00 a.m. 

Final Session Ends at 4:15 p.m.

Registration Prize: 5 DVDs set of Bellyfit Elements Collection Value $50 goes to the 17th person registered for the event.


**Early Bird Price Has Ended**

Full Day NSFA Member - $100
Half Day NSFA Member - $50
Full Day Non-Member - $125
Half Day Non-Member - $62.50

Schedule for the day
9:00-9:30am - Meet & Greet/Sign In 

9:30-10:45 Session A

11:00-12:15 Session B

12:15 - 1:30 Lunch

1:30-2:45 Session C

3:00 - 4:15 Session D

4:30-7:30 CPR re-certification, Lifesaving Society



Margaret Lee - Bellyfit Sage Master Class

Catherine Knockwood - Pound  Master Class

Melissa Millar - More than Just the Mambo

Rick Horsman - A New Way to Look at Bootcamp

Devin LeBlanc - Change your Client's Lives Forever!

Lauri Di Guilio - 3 Keys to IAP

Heather & Karen from Alice Housing - Understanding Relationship Violence and the Role of the Fitness Professional

Matt Ryan - Positive Anti-Aging Through Fitness

Jim Cyr - Wearable Fitness Technology

ISANS (Immigrant Settlement Association of Nova Scotia) - Working with Newcomers to Canada

Presenting Gift Sponsor

Oh My Fudge! https://www.facebook.com/ohmyfudgehfx/


Sponsors (so far)

Bellyfit International

MSVU Athletics/Recreation  

 Celtic Life Magazine



Bronze Sponsors:

Debbie Ford, TPI


Suzanne Milner, Managing Director,  http://www.drugfreewellness.com

Melissa Dearman, Eastern Passage Wellness Center  http://easternpassagewellness.ca/

The Nova Scotia Fitness Association is a non-profit organization.

We acknowledge that we are in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq people.  

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