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Nordic pole walking comes to the South Shore

The Harrison Lewis Discovery Centre will be offering a Nordic pole walking workshop on June 12 with nationally certified trainer James Boyer. The workshop is part of a series of programs geared towards people 55 and older.
The Harrison Lewis Discovery Centre will be offering a Nordic pole walking workshop on June 12 with nationally certified trainer James Boyer. The workshop is part of a series of programs geared towards people 55 and older. - Contributed

Activity features low impact exercise

PORT JOLI, N.S. – The Harrison Lewis Coastal Discovery Centre, located near Port Joli, will host a day workshop on Nordic pole walking.

The event takes place on Tuesday, June 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Those participating will join James Boyer, a nationally certified Nordic pole walking instructor, to learn more about this growing physical fitness activity, and have the opportunity to explore the nature trails around the centre. 

Nordic pole walking, which began as a summer training program for cross-country skiing Olympic athletes, is very popular in Scandinavian countries, says Boyer. 

Boyer also says Nordic pole walking is perfect as a total body workout because you use all your muscles in a safe and enjoyable activity.  

“The really nice aspect is that you can chat with your friends while you exercise. What better way to spend time with your friends?” 

Boyer and his wife were introduced to the sport in 2011 by a friend. It was not long after that first introduction that their friend further encouraged him to take his national instructor’s certification. Soon after that, Boyer was teaching twice weekly at the Canada Games Centre in Halifax where he lives. He also works with local schools and gives workshops to teachers and students alike, which is a perfect fit for this retired teacher of 32 years. 

This Nordic pole workshop is part of a program at the Harrison Lewis Centre, celebrating learning into the later years of life. It involves a series of day workshops every second Tuesday from May to September for ages 55 and older, as well as their friends and family, explains the centre’s field station program and development manager, Jessica Bradford. 

Bradford said the idea for the workshop came from Boyer, who loves the centre. When he saw the call for people to pitch workshops or retreats, he suggested the idea of hosting a Nordic pole walking workshop.

“Outdoor physical activity is a great way to connect with the natural environment, so we thought it would be a perfect fit to get people out to the centre to see what we are all about, while also learning something new and being active,” says Bradford. “Nordic pole walking is also a low impact exercise and the fastest growing adult physical fitness activity in Canada, so it fits well with our program goals.”

Last month, the centre hosted a workshop on planting a natural dye garden with Shelburne-based artist and owner of Studio 138, Cindy Hagen, which was made possible with support from the Shelburne County Arts Council. This was a two-part workshop, and the second part is in September when participants will actually harvest the plants and use them to dye fabric. 

In August, the centre will host an archaeology-themed workshop with archaeologist Dr. Matthew Betts. 

“We have not yet lined up our speaker for July’s workshop, but welcome anyone with a special interest or skill they might like to share with a wider audience to contact the centre,” says Bradford. 

Anyone interested in signing up for the Nordic pole workshop on June 12 can contact info@harrisonlewiscentre.org 

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