Yes, we trek regularly on the road to well being - acolytes of 'Father Joe P,' Joseph Pilates, founder of what he called Contrology with its not-so-startling premise that 'physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.' Maybe that was new (even revolutionary) back in the 30s and 40s. To give the guru credit, his 1934 book was called YOUR HEALTH and drew on the Greek idea of 'a balanced body and mind.' The RETURN TO LIFE THROUGH CONTROLOGY published in 1945 had a co-author and set out principles and philosophies as well as a list of exercises pertinent to his regime. The latter are best done under supervision of trained personnel, one of which in Washington is Pure Joe Pilates Studios (a satellite studio is in Reston, Va.) www.purejoe.com. One woman who has been coming here for "oh, 10 or 11" years began with a bad case of scoliosis, a spinal condition. The studio also has treated an 18-month-old child with a muscular condition (the muscles needed loosening), an 81-year-old man in good health, and Parkinson patients. The secret to success for most participants, needless to say, is concentration and constant repetition. No 'medicine' other than exercise seems guaranteed to prolong life these days...or so experts seem to attest.