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Sisters in Shape, Inc. Fitness Consultants (SIS) seek to empower African-American women by promoting balance in physical, mental and spiritual health. The primary objectives of SIS are to educate, stimulate and motivate women to make health and fitness a priority. Our mission is to:

Stimulate by increasing the knowledge and awareness of the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle.
Inspire by being totally committed to all aspects of fitness, promoting spiritual, physical and mental health.
Show optimal results through effective instruction.

According to the American Heart Association, African-American women are experiencing a heart disease epidemic - dying of heart disease at a higher rate than all ethnic groups, male and female. In fact, African-American women are at a 70% greater risk of dying from a stroke, and a 35% greater risk of dying from a heart attack relative to white women. This unfortunate situation could be reduced if this population practiced a healthier lifestyle.

Melanie A. Marchand is the CEO and President of Sisters In Shape Fitness Consulting. The New Orleans native is a Chemical Engineer and acquired an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1991. She has been a fitness instructor for over 15 years and holds certifications in Lifestyle and Weight Management Consulting (American Council on Exercise), Personal Training, Group Fitness, Spinning and CPR. In 1998, when Melanie fully realized what was happening to African-American women from a health perspective, she resigned from a 14-year career in corporate America. Her new career and spiritual path is to lead women of color to a higher quality of life through exercise and proper nutrition.

Personal Training **** Nutrition Counseling **** Exercise Program Design

Sisters In Shape specializes in fitness consulting whereby those interested in improving their fitness level may hire a personal trainer or consult with SIS to customize a meal plan or design an exercise program. If you are looking for a way to ease into a fitness routine or would like to work out in an environment with other positive, motivated and inspired African-American women, you should visit the new SIS group fitness and personal training center at 1320 Somerville Ave.

Sisters In Shape Exercise Classes

Classes are held at the new SIS group fitness and personal training center at 1320 Somerville Ave., our new location. The prestigious fitness instructors who teach the classes are energetic, high-spirited, and professional. You are guaranteed to benefit physically, mentally and spiritually as you burn calories and have fun. You'll create experiences to remember. SIS exercise class offerings cover a broad spectrum including: yoga, kickboxing, African dance, belly dance, pilates, Brazilian samba, stretch, hip hop, conditioning, gospel aerobics, modern dance, line dance, strengthening and stretching on a stability ball, and step aerobics. The objective of the SIS exercise class program is to expose women to the many ways to train the body and become fit.

Support System

Benefits enjoyed by those who participate in SIS exercise classes include:

  • a strong sense of camaraderie and a commitment to health shared among sisters who want more out of life;
  • a sharing of fabulous energy by a positive group of sisters with a common goal - to pursue a higher quality of life through movement and transference of positive energy.

Workshops and Seminars

Since 1998, Sisters In Shape has hosted several workshops and seminars to support the organization's mission and motto which is:

Healthy Women Cultivate Healthy Families

SIS workshops cover a broad variety of topics all stemming from the theme of total wellness. The Sisters In Shape audience has enjoyed prominent speakers like, author and internationally acclaimed keynote speaker, Jewel Diamond Taylor, and internationally renowned jazz musician and composer, Wynton Marsalis, both of who shared strong life messages and spoke from the heart. Other workshops included: African-American Women and Heart Disease featuring Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, Women and Self-Defense, The Basics of Strength Training, Nutrition, Motivation - Striving for Excellence, Wellness - discussing the benefits of massage, aromatherapy, acupuncture, reflexology and chiropractic care, Herbs and Daily Living, and, most recently, a Healthy Holiday Cooking Demo.


Health Fairs and Fitness Festivals

Sisters In Shape participates in many health fairs and fitness festivals in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas. We offer master classes, fitness presentations and demonstrations to organizations of varying backgrounds and sizes. If you would like to discuss the possibilities of SIS participating in your event, just give us a call at 215-329-TONE or e-mail us at

Health & Fitness Facts

Did you know?

  • African-American women are disproportionately affected by the burden of HEART DISEASE, OBESITY, STROKE, and KIDNEY DISEASE !
  • Coronary heart disease is the NUMBER ONE killer of women, and 4 out of 5 women are unaware of this fact.
  • 1 out of 10 American females between the ages of 45 and 64 has some type of heart disease. This applies to 1 out of 5 for those over 65.
  • Heart disease is more prevalent in African-American women than in white women by 69%.
  • The National Center for Health Statistics reports that more than ½ (54.3%) of Americans are obese, with African-American women comprising the most overweight segment of the US population, followed by Hispanic women.
  • Obesity increases the risk of heart disease by 50%.
  • Hypertension is the leading cause of stroke, which is more common in African-Americans.
  • But there's a solution!

  • Exercising and smoking cessation are the two best things you can do to prevent heart disease and stay healthy.
  • The benefit of increased physical activity may reduce the incidence of obesity and other related stressors including: heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and certain cancers.
  • Heart disease risk factors that we can change are: smoking, obesity, inactive lifestyle, stress.
  • Experts agree that ultimately, the goal of overweight women should be to attain and maintain a healthy existence that includes a nutritional diet and a safe exercise routine. This may not only prolong their lives, but also result in them looking and feeling their best.

    Please visit the other segments of the Sisters In Shape website:

    Ø What's New for class and workshop schedules and photographs.
    Ø Mel's Bayou for encouraging words to maintain a healthy mentality towards health and fitness. Also, latest trends in the health & fitness industry.
    Ø Mel's Bio for SIS President biography.
    Ø SIS Guest Book to sign on and share your thoughts with us.
    Ø Philosophy for words to live by.
    Ø Recipes for quick, healthy concoctions that taste delicious!
    Ø SIS Talk to see what other readers are talking about.
    Ø Join our mailing list!

    Sisters In Shape, Inc.
    1320 Somerville Ave.
    Philadelphia, PA 19141


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