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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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  •  
    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
  •  
    Lynn 08-01-11
    Lynn 08-01-11
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    "Worth it Only for the First Chapters"

    Spark is a valuable book with broad implications. Essentially, John Ratley relates exercise to neuroplasticity. The most valuable chapters come at the outset of the book where Ratley relates how two high schools have raised test scores through the use of physical education. He makes a strong case for stressing physical activity rather than sports. In sports the talented benefit and the less so stand around. Even the talented wait to “get the ball” so to speak. Physical activity helps students to understand their bodies while – and this is important – also stimulating the growth of brain cells. If your school district is cutting physical education, just read the first three chapters and discover what innovation is going on out there. The later chapters deal with exercise and stress, brain performance, depression, and other issues. It is not technical, but the discussion of the brain is not to be missed in this context. Walter Dixon's reading is very good.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roger Smith Orlando, Florida United States 07-31-11
    Roger Smith Orlando, Florida United States 07-31-11 Member Since 2007

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Exercise is Good for the Brain"

    Exercise is good for the brain. The idea is important. But the author spends too much time citing studies and no enough creating an exercise program that can be applied.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheela Encinitas, CA, United States 07-28-11
    Sheela Encinitas, CA, United States 07-28-11
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    "Looking for motivation to exercise?"

    In case you are like me, and you just basically like to exercise a bit; this book gives the added spark to really go for it! Amazing amount of information delivered. A whole new
    perspective on how truly built to move our bodies, and minds are!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Debbie HOUSTON, TX, United States 07-26-11
    Debbie HOUSTON, TX, United States 07-26-11 Member Since 2011

    Debbie

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    "interesting, but boring to listen to"

    Good facts about nutrition and exercise, but very boring to listen to. I started out enjoying this audio book, but then it just couldn't hold my attention.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-26-11
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    "Well written pop science book is like gold"

    Makes a really good case for exercise for what ails you, with lots of up to date information. Fun listening worth the time. Is accessible without being condescending. worth listening and keeping

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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