Dr. Lisa Ramey, from Jaffrey Family Practice, is a runner, a marathoner, a skier and, now, she’d like to add Zumba dancer to her resume.  As an active Wellness Center member for about 10 years, she’s tried many of the aquatic classes, and specializes in T’ai Chi these days, but recently she has found a love for Zumba.

[Lisa and her husband, Ross, were at the Boston Marathon when the bombings occurred.  Read their story here and listen to them tell their story here. ]

“I never thought I’d fall in love with it as quickly as I did,” she confesses. “It’s very different—all noise and jumping instead of quiet and gentle—but both are good for us.  I always wanted to learn Latin dancing, particularly the pelvis.”

She has done tap and ballet in the past and even square dancing, but says she loves the Latin rhythms in Zumba. “It just matters that we try to imitate the teacher,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if our shimmying makes us look like wet dogs.”

As a family physician, Lisa mentions the Wellnes sCenterto many, many of her patients. “We’re supposed to be prescribing exercise,” she explains. She mentions yoga to as many people as she can, and even goes so far as to demonstrate a few of the moves for them in her office. “Otherwise it sounds too exotic, too foreign,” she said. “I think it’s one of the best non-medical health and age protectors.”

She says the Wellness Center is the best thing that ever happened at Monadnock Community Hospital. She loves seeing people using the track that encircles the fitness floor, or seeing younger people from the community using the fitness machines.  

“We’re all shapes and sizes here and in the pool, and nobody is intimidating or embarrassing.”

Lisa appreciates the assessments offered to members when they join here. “Those HDLs don’t lie,” she said. “Exercise keeps the HDLs up, and I can tell just from someone’s number whether they exercise or not.”

Her personal goal is to spend at least 45 minutes 5 days a week doing some form of exercise. In good weather and bad, her usual cardio routine is running. She runs with the Monadnock Milers, a local running club, almost regardless of the weather. At age 57 (and a half), she has completed two marathons since turning 50, though she says, she’s more of a 5 to 6-mile runner now. 

She has had a partially ruptured calf muscle along the way, and abdominal surgery at one point. In both instances, she used a personal trainer here to help get herself back to her former state of conditioning. 

Yoga and T’ai Chi (which she sometimes helps to teach) keep her limber. Without those, she says, she’d be stiffening up. “Runners are very stiff. We go out on a run, but we don’t stretch. We don’t take care of our core or upper body, and that’s just not serving our body well.”

To help her stay motivated in that regard, she says she likes to keep a mental picture of the Greek god Midas in her head. “He turned everything into gold. We want to turn our muscles into liquid gold—strong, but flexible.”

And, she says, it’s all about reaching our Golden Age, still being able to reach and stretch and get out and do things.

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