Phil Carville: Fountain of Youth |

Phil Carville: Fountain of Youth

By Phil Carville | Special to The Union

2020 has been a terrible year… a true annus horribilis as Queen Elizabeth II would say.

But it is now a new year and things are looking up. It is time to regain our strength: both mentally and physically.

That would be easy if we could just bathe in the magical waters of a Fountain of Youth and restore ourselves. And I am here to say that there really is a Fountain of Youth for you in this new year.

Watery Magic

But we humans like “easy fixes” and for thousands of years we have sought easy health cures.

One famous “easy fix” is that our youth will be restored if we bathe in the magical waters of the Fountain of Youth. Tales of such magical fountains are recounted in the writing of Herodotus 5th century BC), in the history of Alexander the Great (3rd century BC), in the stories of Prester John (early Crusades, 11th/12th centuries AD) and famously when the Spanish explorer, Juan Ponce de León, supposedly found the Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine, Florida, in 1513. This fountain site was founded in the 1880s and further promoted by the infamous “Diamond Lil” in 1920s. Today this 15-acre site is a profitable tourist attraction but with no documented “cures.”

We also spend billions of dollars each year in bogus health-related products and treatments: e.g. shark cartilage/magnets/copper bracelets for arthritis, pills/powders for cancer, pomegranate seeds for erectile dysfunction, vibrating machines for weight loss, et cetera.

In the 1880s Dr. Scott (not a real doctor) grew rich selling his “Electric Flesh Brush” with the motto “The Germ of All Life is Electricity.” He claimed it cured “rheumatism, sciatica, gout, nervous debility, lumbago, neuralgia, toothache, malaria, all pains and aches resulting from colds, impure blood and those back aches peculiar to ladies”.

So, given all this quackery, is there a real health and rejuvenation ‘fix’?

Yes! It’s the closest thing to an actual Fountain of Youth and it’s called “EXERCISE.”

Real Magic

When you exercise you make your heart stronger, improve your circulation, decrease your level of “bad” cholesterol and increase your level of “good” cholesterol, make your muscles stronger, make your bones denser, improve your balance and coordination, help prevent falls and fractures, burn calories to maintain a healthy weight, control blood sugar levels, boost your immune system, increase the level of endorphins, improve mental alertness, help with sleep, reduce risk of coronary artery disease/heart attack/stroke/colon cancer/osteoporosis/Type 2 diabetes, and even lessen the instance of constipation… and this is all scientifically proven.

Exercise Magic

As simple as that seems, your body is a magical machine that was designed to move. You can tap into your own fountain by simply starting an exercise program this month and maintaining it for the rest of your life.

Most healthy people, regardless of age, can safely exercise at a moderate level without consulting a doctor. However, if you have any special concerns, treatments, or risk factors, please consult your physician first.

There are thousands of medical and scientific studies that confirm the benefits of exercise. There are three main types: aerobic, anaerobic and flexibility (range of motion) exercises. We can go into more detail in future articles.

Create your own “magic.” Start your exercise program this week. Get help from a certified personal trainer if you need special help or want faster results.

And remember to practice social distancing, wear a mask (it’s not a political statement), and get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can.

Phil Carville is a co-owner of the South Yuba Club. He is happy to answer questions or respond to comments. He can be reached at –

Phil Carville

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