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Spark Audiobook

Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

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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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  •  
    MATTHEW 06-28-12
    MATTHEW 06-28-12 Member Since 2011

    Councilor Flynn

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    "Excellent read"

    Really enjoyed listening to this and the benefits of exercise. I always use the notion that exercise increased the oxygen to the brain as a motivator to make time for it. It was really interesting to hear all the other positive things that exercise does for the brain. Really great for anyone that needs additional motivation to make time to exercise.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Lucas Austin, TX, United States 06-25-12
    Lucas Austin, TX, United States 06-25-12 Member Since 2016

    on a quest to read Audible's entire nonfiction science section...

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    "Great science, subpar writing/narration"

    In short, this book provides a wealth of evidence that exercise improves mental health as well as physical health. Those with depression, ADHD, epilepsy, arthritis and countless other maladies show remarkable improvement when they start exercising. Clearly, many of the ails of American citizens and the greater society are the result of our sedentary lifestyles. No surprise there but you will be overwhelmed by the mountains of scientific evidence to this effect.

    Unfortunately, at least in audiobook format, the writing is not compelling enough to keep me from constantly getting distracted. I adore good science writing but this is one I barely made it through. It's unfortunate because the science here could be presented in a way that inspires folks to get off their duffs and do something active--anything!

    I found "Born to Run," which is less scientifically oriented, far more effective in this regard so give a look at that title.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Amazon Customer Provo, UT, United States 06-21-12
    Amazon Customer Provo, UT, United States 06-21-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Exercise = assisted healing for the mentally ill"

    Struck with mental illness in my mid-twenties, I gained 60 pounds in 9 months, in part due to the side affect of weight gain associated with the anti-psychotic medicine. Now over a decade later I was fed up with being unfit and lacking motivation to do something about it, let alone make a lifestyle change; I--therefore--decided to educate myself on exercise. I turned to audible.com hoping to find a book that would both educate and motivate me to make change--Spark fit the bill and then some. It educated me on the powerful connection between exercise and the brain. Most importantly the power of exercise in healing the brain, especially from the perspective of being mentally ill. When I purchased it, I did it with the intention of listening to it while I began running, hoping to create a new habit. It took me a month or so to read with sporadic exercise, but I can gladly report that running has now become a new part of my daily regimen. Thanks for the terrific book that has helped instill exercise as a new lifestyle change; resulting in more energy, less sleep, increased confidence, and greater mental stability.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Dusty Britches Superior, WI United States 06-01-12
    Dusty Britches Superior, WI United States 06-01-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Exercise helps depression and anxeity"
    What did you love best about Spark?

    Clear and concise evidence how exercise affects the brain that results in lowered depressive and anxiety symptoms, without the professional jargon.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    How exercise sparks brain growth/developement.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mori Ridgefield Park, NJ, United States 05-31-12
    Mori Ridgefield Park, NJ, United States 05-31-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Want to "Want to" Exercise?"
    Where does Spark rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's one of the few books that has drastically changed my life. I bought this book thinking it would make an interesting read and it instead turned me into a running machine! I went from zero exercise in the past 10 years of my life to running 2-4 miles a day, 6 days a week. The information in this book is powerful and true. I've never felt better. Thank you John J. Ratley!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

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

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    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

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    Any additional comments?

    If you don't exercise, you NEED to buy this book. Stop thinking about it or hesitating. You won't regret it. Thank me later.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    brooksiegirl 05-17-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Interesting,but.........."
    Any additional comments?

    Not happy about hearing how they test things on lab animals. For such an advanced age we live in, it is disturbing that humans are still so thoughtless and cruel to animals. No need of it in this day and age and yet it still happens. I don't like to hear about how they sew one eye shut on cats and other cruelty no matter how interesting the rest of the book is. Major turn off.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Peggy 05-16-12
    Peggy 05-16-12 Member Since 2009
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    "to much to wade through"

    over complicated and over done making it really hard to get to the heart of the matter and get the information out of it that you can really use and make it worth the time and credit you spent to find out

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan O'Hara 05-12-12
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    "Everyone Should Read This One!"

    This book is chock full of great information about the specific benefits of exercise on the brain. It's a bit technical but I think it has to be to make its case. It's got me moving for sure! Get past the first chapter, and you'll find a LOT of great, helpful information about the WHY and how of exercise as applied to longevity and brain health. I do wish the reader could have gotten the correct pronunciation for "hypothalamus." This was the only flaw in an otherwise wonderful performance. I've read the book twice already and will probably read it a few more times to solidify all the information in my own brain.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Daniel 05-09-12
    Daniel 05-09-12 Member Since 2014
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    "What mind body dichotomy?"

    Spark is a multipul listen book. It is chuck full of useful information covering a wide range of topics from exercise, medicine, brain function and disfunction ect.. Mr. Ratey is knowledgeable and forthright when the certain ideas are plausible but unproven. Most importantly he gives you the impetus to go out and exercise.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Jay WICHITA, KS, United States 05-08-12
    Jay WICHITA, KS, United States 05-08-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Tell the world its all about Exercise!"

    I exercise, I run, I get it! And I love this book because it explains why I feel better when I do run. This book should be a must read for all kids in school. A must read for all adults, period. Let's finally put an end to taking drugs for every ailment, for every bad feeling, for every hurt. Get out and exercise and your ailments will go away. READ THIS BOOK!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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