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Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain | [John J. Ratey]

Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

Did you know you can beat stress, lift your mood, fight memory loss, sharpen your intellect, and function better than ever simply by elevating your heart rate and breaking a sweat? The evidence is incontrovertible: Aerobic exercise physically remodels our brains for peak performance.
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Publisher's Summary

A groundbreaking and fascinating investigation into the transformative effects of exercise on the brain, from the bestselling author and renowned psychiatrist John J. Ratey, MD.

Did you know you can beat stress, lift your mood, fight memory loss, sharpen your intellect, and function better than ever simply by elevating your heart rate and breaking a sweat? The evidence is incontrovertible: Aerobic exercise physically remodels our brains for peak performance.

In Spark, John J. Ratey, M.D., embarks upon a fascinating and entertaining journey through the mind-body connection, presenting startling research to prove that exercise is truly our best defense against everything from depression to ADD to addiction to aggression to menopause to Alzheimer's. Filled with amazing case studies (such as the revolutionary fitness program in Naperville, Illinois, which has put this school district of 19,000 kids first in the world of science test scores), Spark is the first book to explore comprehensively the connection between exercise and the brain. It will change forever the way you think about your morning run---or, for that matter, simply the way you think.

©2008 John J. Ratey; (P)2008 Gildan Media Corp

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Amie United States 02-02-12
    Amie United States 02-02-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Better than I expected!"

    I bought this book to encourage me to excercise to help in my weight loss efforts. Now I am encouraged to excercise to improve all aspects of my life from my job to my family and of course my health. It was well worth the money and exceeded my expectations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Kindle Customer NEW CASTLE, DE, United States 01-28-12
    Kindle Customer NEW CASTLE, DE, United States 01-28-12 Listener Since 2007
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    "Something to 'Spark' your enthusiasm for exercise."
    Would you listen to Spark again? Why?

    I think everyone can attribute some positive attributes to exercise, what this book does though is lay all of them out in an informative but not boring manner. The examples and short stories used are great, offering tips and advice for the gym-rat to the person who hasn't left the couch in the past year. I found myself enjoying the information the book presented, and it serves as fuel to motivate me to exercise more frequently.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The book uses several anecdotes and examples but none of the stories were particularly better or worse than others.


    What about Walter Dixon’s performance did you like?

    Dixon's performance was spot on, he did a great job at bringing the book to life, and even in some of the more scientific parts, he didn't drone on and seem boring. Very well done.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No extreme reaction, just get to exercising more now that I've found additional motivation.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James SMITHTON, MO, United States 01-09-12
    James SMITHTON, MO, United States 01-09-12
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    "Exercise and healing for the whole body"
    Would you listen to Spark again? Why?

    I might listen again, but one time thorugh gets the point. His hypothesis is convincing and well documented:paly Exercise is a primary factor in a majority of health issues.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The new studies done relating exercise and health in neurology and other bodily entities. I appreciate the corelation between better physical education has trationally practiced with all its tawry play variations from ping pong to horse shoes and the current innovations related to healing exercise which keeps a constant heart rate needed to


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The work in the Naperville school district set the stage for the thesis and framed the background for the remainder of the work. If you can help teens develop exercise disciplines compares to who wins and loses the good is on the way long term.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It supported and built on a book by Dr. Paull Sehnert,


    Any additional comments?

    Not at this point.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mom in FL Largo, FL, United States 01-09-12
    Mom in FL Largo, FL, United States 01-09-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Fascinating"

    This was my first non-fiction listen. Everyone knows exercise is good for the body, and we always hear about the mind/body connection, but this book goes into detail about how and why exercise can help the brain. It's amazing the range of brain-related issues that can be helped with exercise. It's also amazing how the brain can "self repair" given the proper conditions. While it took me a while to get through this (there was no "I have to see what happens next" as I'd have with fiction), it was still so very interesting. I'm hoping, since I read this around the first of the year and I make that cliche New Years Resolution every year, that maybe I'll stick with it this time. There's so much more to exercise than just getting a nice body, and it becomes so much more important with age.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mahmoud 01-02-12
    Mahmoud 01-02-12
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    "mostly useful"
    If you could sum up Spark in three words, what would they be?

    very simply put:


    Would you recommend Spark to your friends? Why or why not?

    the book's 8 chapters were mostly out of interest. It started with couple of chapters that are usefull and general about how sports benefits the brain for a normal person, then it moved to stress and that was it. Most of the book after that discusses exercise and sports and their use for treating several disorders like attention, depression, anxiety, etc... It even discusses its impact on women for menapose.

    Than lastly it wraps up with some do-it tips and plan. Overall nice book, but you might not be interested to know how to treat disorders.


    Have you listened to any of Walter Dixon’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    narration was good


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    only the first 3 chapoters and the last one


    Any additional comments?

    What I hated most was that the chapter marks in the audio book was not proper (Chapter 3 starts in the middle of chapter 3, and so on)
    this was in both parts (1 & 2)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Houston, Texas, United States 01-01-12
    Julie Houston, Texas, United States 01-01-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Truly new and hopeful information"

    This book gave me a plan for preserving my brain functioning as I approach middle age. As one who has seen the effects of dementia and Alzheimer's disease on elderly relatives, I have been concerned for some time that middle and old age necessarily entails fuzzy thinking, disorientation and forgetfulness. Not so. Using the strategies described in this book, a person can take steps to alleviate or prevent brain deterioration with age.
    The book inspires hope.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grasspupper Marbleton, WY 12-30-11
    Grasspupper Marbleton, WY 12-30-11 Member Since 2014
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    "Excellent!"

    I found this book very informative, and inspiring. I have a new view on life in general, and I feel that I am in control of both my physical and mental health. I can also alter my moods effectively and change my perception of potentially stressful situations just by exercising! I now have the tools to change my life for the better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Niv Petach Tiqva, Israel 12-27-11
    Niv Petach Tiqva, Israel 12-27-11 Member Since 2015

    34 year old, married +2 wonderful kids. Like fantasy and self development: moral, humility, listening, relationship, kids education etc

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    "little bit long and technical but very inspiring."
    What did you love best about Spark?

    I was amazed on how much there is to write about importance of physical activity and since I read the book I do much more of it. I got lost in many of the professional terms and feel there are too few examples of real stories.
    in spite of that the book is highly recommended and will give deep insights that you would not expect to find in book on physical activity.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Marilyn West Peoria, IL, United States 12-23-11
    Marilyn West Peoria, IL, United States 12-23-11 Member Since 2010
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    "What every school board should read"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, because it enlightens you on how FITNESS not athletics is so important for school age children as well as people in every other age group.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It talks about fitness for all ages. It really drove home how fitness helps ADD, ADHD, as well as school systems with violence. It also covers fitness in helping control a host of health and mental health problems later in life.


    Any additional comments?

    Every school board member and administrator needs to listen to this book - helping our school systems throughout!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Ana Ritter East Meadow, NY United States 12-19-11
    Ana Ritter East Meadow, NY United States 12-19-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Life changer"
    Where does Spark rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the most informative books I have listened to. The information I learned has changed my life. I exercise now because it's good for me.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I am listening to it a second time because there was so much great information I want to hear it all again.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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