Fitness Files: Risa Sheppard

Master Pilates teacher/trainer Risa Sheppard ( is the author of the book Risa Sheppard’s Fitness Formula for a Firm and Flat Stomach. She has also written for Muscle and Fitness, City Sports, Total Health, Natural Body and Fitness.  Continue reading to learn more about Risa and her years of experience in the Pilates world. 

NMF: Has fitness always been a major part of your life or was there a catalyst/point in your life when you made it more of a focus and priority? 

RS: Fitness or rather movement, which I prefer  to say, has always been a part of my life.  As a young actress in the 1970’s, I was casted in plays that required alot of movement.  Not necessary dance, as I was not a classic dancer, but parts that required me to move in a flowing and fluid way.  But the main catalyst in my life and career was when I was introduced to Ron Fletcher, a protege of Joe Pilates.  It is there I learned the detailed ways to move the body in a fit and natural way, and decided right then and there this was right for me.  Plus, I found out I loved to teach! It was rewarding and fulfilling me as a person.

NMF: What are a few of your go-to healthy snacks/drinks that help keep you on the straight and narrow? 

RS: As far as snacks, I usually go with anything protein, such as almonds or string cheese. Protein helps keep my blood sugar in check, and I am able to continue my day.

NMF: At Nadia Murdock Fit our motto is “Train Your Mind, Change Your Body” so we must ask: How do you train your mind and stay motivated?  

RS: I have always trained my mind along with my body.  I have found that no matter how many times you lift your leg, or crunch your abdominals, if your mind is telling you that you’re fat, or out of shape, the body must and will obey. It is not just using your mind to focus on a body part, it is to use your mind in a positive and life affirming manner that will correspond to the body image you wish to attain.

NMF: How do you change your body?  What are your fitness favorites?

RS: It is not always easy.  We are conditioned to many times to be negative and to change that takes discipline and work.  But so does anything worthwhile. Thougts are things, so train your mind as well as your body to be positive, hopeful, and excited about what is happening within you.  You change your body by changing your mind.

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Training minds, changing bodies!

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