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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

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  •  
    Sherry Calgary, Canada 10-06-11
    Sherry Calgary, Canada 10-06-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Spark: Sparked my interest!"
    If you could sum up Spark in three words, what would they be?

    eyebrow raising, interesting, motivating


    What did you like best about this story?

    The content can be a bit dry at times with medical lingo but that does not undermine the message that cardio benefits far exceed my preconceived notions and knowledge. I appreciated the references to studies that support the book as well as the opener of the the success they are having with kids and exercise.


    What does Walter Dixon bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    He made this an easy listen. His speech is clear with just the right amount of intonation to keep it interesting. Plus he handled all the medical words.


    Was there a moment in the book that particular moved you?

    Yes when they spoke of the Nun who donated her brain to science and discovered that her lifestyle did not allow the obvious presence of Alzheimer's in the brain to kick into gear. Her choices kept it at bay.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hammy 10-06-11
    Hammy 10-06-11
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    "Brilliant"

    Brilliant book solidly grounded in relevant exercise science. Presented in an entertaining and interesting manner.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JaniceO Queensland, Australia 10-01-11
    JaniceO Queensland, Australia 10-01-11 Listener Since 2010
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    "Excellent Purchase"

    I really enjoyed this book. It is well written, and a subject matter that would interest anyone from parents wanting the best for their kids to older folks wishing to live a happier, healthier, brainier life. the narrator was very easy to listen to, the subject is presented in an every day language whilst still having the scientific information to make it a valuable text book to improve one's life. I would and have already recommend this book for anyone wishing to get the most out of life and if you or someone you know suffers ADHD/Dementia/Alzeimers of just loss of memory from aging then this book has a really simple plan that most of us could follow.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Austin, Texas 09-26-11
    Christine Austin, Texas 09-26-11 Listener Since 2010
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    "Every parent should know this data."

    I found the information compelling and a "no-brainer" to add this to all our current school programs. I would encourage parents to know this data and share with your administrators and teachers. We have instituted our own morning work-out program before school due to the data. A definite must read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, United States 09-24-11
    Laura VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, United States 09-24-11
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    "Wonderful!"

    I listened to this book everyday for a couple of weeks on my walk to the gym. This has been the inspiration that I've needed to get back into my workout routine. It's hard to listen to all of the many good things exercise can do for you and not be excited to hit the gym. I have recommended this book to just about everyone I know. The narrator has such a soothing voice as well. Overall, a very informative and fascinating book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arana COLUMBIA, SC, United States 09-11-11
    Arana COLUMBIA, SC, United States 09-11-11 Member Since 2013
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    "A must read/listen"

    Great book! Has changed my life. I have always been active and enjoyed the way I feel when I exercise. Now I know why and have been telling everyone about this book. I plan to go to the school board and try to get our PE changed. My children have already started a more consistent activity routine and we will all benefit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reyes Cave Junction, OR, United States 09-10-11
    Reyes Cave Junction, OR, United States 09-10-11 Member Since 2009
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    "glorey"

    Great information about how much exercise influences the health of our brain. Especially hits home with me because my mother has Alzheimers and I'm extra aware of the possibility that I my have the same issues. I've passed Spark to my siblings and hope that they get as much out of it as I did. In fact, I listen while I work out--alternating arobics and weight training. I've never felt better! Loaded the audible book to my husband's MP3 player and he's increased his exercise routine as well. I've lost 25 lbs and he's lost 60! Needless to say, we got a lot out of this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pearl Glacier 08-15-11 Member Since 2014

    Epic

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    "I have recommended this to multiple people!"

    This book is very well written and will provide the framework for the fascinating science of exercise. It is both honest and very scientific. I have recommended it to multiple people already!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vy Surrey, BC, Canada 08-04-11
    Vy Surrey, BC, Canada 08-04-11
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    "Waaay too technical."

    Great theory and supporting research. It just goes waaaay in-depth with the science and technical terms. Reads like a thesis/research paper. So it depends on if that's your thing or not. I hit fast forward a lot through those sections when the author cites other work.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike 08-01-11
    Mike 08-01-11

    mikeswelsh

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    "exercise feels good but i had no idea...."

    The book has a nice fact based no to techy or sciency approach...the examples are key and the actionable info in this is huge...not to pushy and a real good start to 'getting me hooked' as the author indicates...much success can't wait for the forthcoming titles, 'Burn: Now that your heart rate is up...', and many more...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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