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Spark Audiobook

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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  •  
    J.P.L. Phoenix, Az 04-10-12
    J.P.L. Phoenix, Az 04-10-12 Member Since 2016

    "In Reason I Trust"

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    "An Informative Motivator for Seekers"
    Would you listen to Spark again? Why?

    I will definitely listen to this book again soon to re-absorb and digest even more of the points that Dr. Ratey puts forth.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The book talks about many interesting case studies and patients and their experiences with exercise and how it helped them fight their various problems, but I found the section about the ultra marathoner Dean Karnazes to be one of the most memorable.


    What about Walter Dixon???s performance did you like?

    Walter Dixon read the book very well. I could listen to him read anything.


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

    There were points where the sheer brilliance of what I was hearing, and how it made perfect sense, brought tears to my eyes. Definitely a lot of potential epiphanies in this book. This book has undoubtedly changed my life for the better. It is perhaps the greatest motivation for exercise I have ever come across.


    Any additional comments?

    I had recently read the book Brain Rules, similar to this but probably more accessible by most. I found this book more informative but would recommend both.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tula 04-08-12
    Tula 04-08-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Here's Why You Should Get Off The Couch"

    Exercise is more than a boost to cardiovascular fitness, it also makes you smarter, and calmer, and happier, and, well, just a hell of a lot better. The book by John Ratey traces findings in neuroscience and psychology that show the many ways exercise improves life quality. Still, professionals have been slow to recognize its many benefits. But Ratey does a good job of reviewing the research, showing what a work out can do to stave off cognitive decline with age, the chaos of ADHD, the mood swings of PMS, and a variety of other woes.

    It's tough to get excited about nonfiction narrators, but Walter Dixon does a decent job of keeping things interesting, never once lapsing into the dreaded nonfiction drone.

    If you normally speed up books to listen, you may want to keep this one at normal speed, at least at first, to follow the actions and interactions of the neurochemicals Ratey discusses. Don't worry, though. The book doesn't bog down on this detail. But it did make me wish there was text available to review as I listened.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Amazon Customer 04-08-12
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    "Some great infomation"

    I would give this book 5/10
    You would need to work in the sports industry to follow all his recommendations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Brooklyn, NY, United States 04-06-12
    Lisa Brooklyn, NY, United States 04-06-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Better than I expected"
    What did you like best about this story?

    This book does a really good job of giving you the overview of a lot of scientific research without overwhelming you with data. You can make conclusions different from the author because you are given enough information to do so.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Celia Louisivlle, KY, United States 04-02-12
    Celia Louisivlle, KY, United States 04-02-12 Member Since 2010
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    "A Favorite New Book!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely! I've already recommended it to several members of my family. They love building their minds but struggle at keeping their bodies in shape. The idea of both being links might just be the boost they need!


    What other book might you compare Spark to and why?

    A high octane boost of energy like Seth Godin or Dave Ramsey mixed with the grounded facts and science of someone like Jim Collins.


    What about Walter Dixon’s performance did you like?

    I never felt like he was droning. His intonations were spot on for the content.


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

    Build Brains By Building Your Body!


    Any additional comments?

    This book has helped me not only get back into fitness, but STAY back in fitness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danae Seattle, WA, United States 03-29-12
    Danae Seattle, WA, United States 03-29-12
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    "Great book! (+ scientific terminology)"

    I have always believed in the power of exercise but this book taught me the science (most of which was unexpected and incredible) behind what I've personally experienced and gave me a new understanding and motivation to exercise. Everyone would benefit from reading this book.

    The information and studies in this book are fascinating and written very well, but be prepared for a lot of scientific terms. The neuroscience was completely new to me and I found it difficult to keep track. I wish there was a pdf reference guide with this book so that I could visually reference some of the terms he's talking about. But these sections were balanced out nicely with more informal, narrative sections.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay 03-27-12
    Jay 03-27-12
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    "More technical than I had been expecting"

    I learned a lot more about how the brain works than I ever imagined I would. Not being a Dr., I had to listen to several parts more than once in order to get a handle on several of the acronyms used. I was hoping the book may cover more about the new trend of intense interval training type exercise and it's effect on the brain and body, but it refers mostly to moderate heart rate range based training.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna AUSTIN, TX, United States 03-27-12
    Anna AUSTIN, TX, United States 03-27-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Highly Recommended for Everyone"

    I love the style of this book. The author gives solid facts and science instead of just anecdotal evidence to support his ideas about exercise. This book sparked my interest in neuroplasticity and sparked my motivation to exercise more. I think this is one of my favorite books from audible!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Páll Huddinge, Sweden 03-26-12
    Páll Huddinge, Sweden 03-26-12
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    "Good book greate narrator."
    Any additional comments?

    Really interesting book on mental health and exercise. Ratey details various scientific, placebo controlled studies that proves various benefits on mental healt. Ratey has chapters on specific areas e.g. exercise and depression, exercise and aging, exercise and adhd etc.

    The only downside is that it's a bit long and detailed and scientific but for some that might be a plus of course.

    The narrator is one of the best I've listened to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Amazon Customer Palo Alto, California, United States 03-25-12
    Amazon Customer Palo Alto, California, United States 03-25-12 Member Since 2015
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    "OK Brain book, but drawn out for it's points"
    Any additional comments?

    The main point can be summarized to say that cardio exercise is good for the brain, and can help with mood. It's particularly good at sorting out problems, such as ADD, depression, and PMS. Other than that, it was a lot of anecdotal stories about how exercise dramatically improved some people's lives. It had obviously dramatically improved the author's life, and he felt he needed to share that information with everyone. I'd get the abridged version if you get it at all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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