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Exercise Leadership Summit 2020

PLEASE NOTE:  Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the original date of April 18th, 2020 has been moved to June 20th, 2020.  You can still register at the same link shown below.  If we should have to postpone again, or cancel outright, you will receive a full refund of your conference fee.  Presenters are subject to change as we're still confirming availability for our new date.

The Basics

When: June 20th, 2020, 9:00am to 4:30pm

Where: Mount St. Vincent University, Rosaria Centre - 166 Bedford Highway, Halifax, NS

(For the MSVU campus map, please click here)

Registration: You can register online at THIS link, as of March 11th.  You have to be logged in to your NSFA account to register.  You will be given options for the sessions you want to attend (see below). You'll also be asked about food requirements if you're staying for lunch.  There is an option to add on the CPR re-cert in the evening. 

Payment:  You can pay on our website.  The PayPal app will open when you select the pay online option.  If you wish to pay by another method please let Zena know (zena@nsfitness.ca).  We can take cash or cheque but not credit card or e-bank transfer.

FYI:  What is a Master Class?

You'll notice a few sessions below are marked "Master Class".  This means the class will be presented just like it would to students from the general public, and you'll get to experience the class from that perspective.  These are not certifications to teach the format being demonstrated, but you will possibly glean ideas you can incorporate in your own classes or personal training, as per your scope of practice.


Ani Delice, RMT, NSFA RT, PT

Session title: The Basics of Postural and Muscle Imbalance Assessment

Ani specializes in sport and deep tissue massage. Her clientele includes athletes, patients of pre and post operative care and injury recovery.  Ani's session is The Basics of Postural and Muscle Imbalance Assessment. She will teach you what you need to know and how to assess a client's postural needs. She will also discuss when  should you refer & how to integrate other practitioner's exercise prescription.

Helen Burns, BPE, CESP- CEP & PT, YTT 200

Session Title: Yoga For Older Adults: Guidelines for Adult Fitness, and Mind/Body Classes

Helen has worked in the Health, Fitness and Lifestyle Industry for over 40 years. “A lifelong athlete” and an active Yogi, runner, and cyclist. Promotes and facilitates physical activity and a healthy lifestyle by teaching Yoga, fitness, strength, and personal training, including the older adult population.

In this workshop we will recognize the challenges of the active older adult participant. Identify the benefits and precautions that” you as the instructor” would take into consideration when choosing a Yoga posture (Asana) to include in your class format.

Heather Creamer, MBA, CES, PFT, R.H.N., CCP

Session Title: 

Key Considerations When Developing Safe and Effective Exercise Programs for Breast Cancer Survivors

Heather is the current Canadian National Affiliate for the Cancer Exercise Training Institute and the Chief Operating Officer of MedeXN Fitness Institute, an online provider of Certifications and Courses (CEC’s) for Health and Fitness Professionals, including the Cancer Exercise Specialist® Advanced Qualification. She is a co-author, (along with Andrea Leonard, Founder of the Cancer Exercise Training Institute), of “The Survivors Guide to Lymphedema: What you haven’t been told- And what you need to Know”. As an 8-year cancer survivor and a Cancer Exercise Specialist, Heather understands the importance of appropriate exercise programing for those in the cancer continuum. She is also a Personal Trainer (NSFA), a Certified Coach Practitioner and a Registered Holistic Nutritional Consultant. Heather teaches workshops and seminars on the topic of Medical Fitness.

1 in 8 women in Canada will receive a diagnosis of breast cancer in their lifetime. In this workshop we will look at some of the key factors that the Fitness Professional should consider when developing an exercise program for breast cancer survivors. The session will cover common types of treatments, surgeries and medications for breast cancer and how these factors will determine the appropriate exercises and contraindications for certain exercises. We will look at some common issues that breast cancer survivors face such as upper crossed syndrome, limited range of motion, peripheral neuropathy, risks for lymphedema and more.

This is an introduction to the topic of training breast cancer survivors; attendees should come away with a basic understanding of the key factors that need to be considered when developing exercise programs for these clients (for individuals or group classes).

Anne Falconer,

BA BEd, CPTN-PT, NSFA (GFL,RTL, AEL), Somatic Coach Level 1

Session Title: Muscular Endurance & Portable Equipment - Ball

Anne is the Fitness Co-ordinator at Dalplex, Dalhousie University. Anne has been happily involved in teaching fitness to groups and to individuals for 30 years. She teaches a wide variety of classes and enjoys swimming, running and walking.

Strength Training classes are one of our most popular Group Fitness offerings. Progressing endurance strength can be challenging in a group class setting. This workshop will focus on incorporating portable equipment in a multi level, inclusive, drop- in class, that offers something for both beginner and more experienced participants.

Jessica Goreham-Penney, GEL

Session Title: Bellyfit FLOW® Master Class

*Note* A Master Class means you'll participate in the class as it is designed to be presented to the public.  This is not a certification to teach this format.

Back by popular demand, Jessica is a long-time NSFA member and former board Member At Large.  She is the first instructor in Nova Scotia to be certified in the Bellyfit Flow® format, and will be sharing it with you in this Master Class.

Please Note: Bellyfit® is a women-only program, however as this is a conference session for exercise professionals men are also welcome to attend.

From the creators of Bellyfit® comes the much anticipated Bellyfit Flow® The Slow Burn.  Designed for the Yogini in you, this mat based class is for all women looking for a more flowing, feminine, Yogic experience that is delivered from a solid, fitness based foundation. Expect all the signature elements that Bellyfit® offers, now on the mat and with a focus on strength and flexibility rather than cardiovascular endurance and coordination. Add an incredible soundtrack and an inspiring narrative and you've got a completely unique practice designed to uplift and energize on all levels.

Julianne Acker-Verney

Session title:  Inclusion in Fitness, What Does It Mean and How Can We Support It?

Julianne Acker-Verney embraces her life as a woman with disabilities, sharing the adventure with her partner Tim in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her commitment to physical fitness remains uninterrupted since childhood with activities including cycling, running, strength and flexibility training. Julianne began paradressage training in December, 2018 with plans to enter her first competition later this year.

Julianne will draw on her experiences as a woman with disabilities, an entrepreneur, community based researcher  and program developer to offer  a session that will be interactive and conversational in style.  Attendees will explore important aspects of planning and providing fitness-related programs and services that  are inclusive of diversity, focusing on persons with disabilities in particular. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions and share experiences. Practical tools will be made available to attendees for future reference.

Doreen MacLean

Session Title:  What's New With Canada's Food Guide

Doreen MacLean is a Registered Dietitian with the NSDA. She uses a behaviour-focused approach to help clients change what and how they eat to reach their health, fitness, and performance goals. Doreen focuses on helping clients rebuild their relationships with their bodies and with food, so that any and all foods can be enjoyed for how they taste and how they make the body feel. 

The 2019 Canada’s Food Guide ditches the portions and the rainbows and focuses on the types and proportions of the foods we eat. Take a deeper dive into the new food guide and learn how we can use this tool to help Nova Scotians incorporate these healthy eating messages into their lives.

Robinson Lea Myers, PT

Session Title: Running a Run Club to Empower Women

Robinson Lea Myers is a certified RT, fitness instructor and run coach who is also the co-chair of NSFA. Robinson Lea has a passion for helping people find strength they did not know they had, to believe in them until they believe in themselves. After hearing day after day from women who said “I wish I could run but …” Robinson decided to develop a learn to run program that would focus on individual training plans for even the newest runners while building a supportive community. And the Best Run Club Ever was born! While working with new runners, particularly women, there was a definite psychological and emotional benefit in running that far outweighed the physical. This benefit spilled out into their every day lives, improving their frame of mind, confidence and overall well being. Robinson realized the key to empowerment was not pace or distance but rather helping women discover a new love of their bodies and what they can accomplish, a joy in movement and a sense of empowerment!

Join Robinson for an interactive discussion covering the fundamentals of building smart training plans, cross training and building community.

Bill & Wai Kam MacMullin

Session Title: Introduction to Tai Chi Master Class

Bil and Wai Kam both have a passion for studying the movements of Tai Chi and Qi Gong. They started studying Tai Chi in 1982 at beginner classes in Beijing, China. Since then they have has practiced in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. They are motivated to lead classes that will benefit personal health and wish to share their knowledge with others.

Nikole MacLellan, ND, RD, B.Comm, BSc AHN, CISSN

Session Title:  Hormonal Implications on Every Day Fitness and Athletic Performance: Female and Male Differences

Dr. Kokes completed her Bachelors of Commerce at Dalhousie University with a major in Marketing Management. She always had a keen interest in nutrition and health so she pivoted and obtained her Bachelors of Applied Human Nutrition with Dietetics from Mount Saint Vincent University. Through this degree she was able to experience so many amazing opportunities from working at the Halifax Rehabilitation centre, working with at risk youth, to working with QMJHL athletes, and in hospitals all across Nova Scotia. She built a solid foundation in nutrition but was looking for more ways to evoke change in patients so she attended the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine where she completed her Doctorate in 2017.

Through her training Dr. Kokes primarily focuses in sports medicine and pain management. She has completed her certification in sports nutrition through the International Society of Sports Nutrition and has taken Sport Medicine training at Harvard University. She has a strong passion for regenerative medicine and has seen first hand its ability to improve recovery outcomes. All of these skills have culminated into total performance optimization.

Hormones play a massive role in our athletic performance and everyday life. Females and males differ greatly in how to optimize athletic performance and hormones are a key player in impacting your performance. Trainers and fitness professionals would benefit from a baseline understanding of how to optimize training based on a female's cycle and what impacts a male's testosterone level and in turn, performance. 

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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