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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

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  •  
    Sher from Provo Utah 03-09-11
    Sher from Provo Utah 03-09-11 Member Since 2015

    tired teacher

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    "Motivational"

    I liked this book a lot. I have from time to time been an exercise fanatic. It has been 6 months, though, since I have exercised regularly due to a knee injury, and then a minor foot surgery. I am so ready to get back at it. This book has helped me see just how important exercise is at all ages and in almost every condition. It is the healthy thing to do. And we need to encourage our children to get out and move as well.

    With that said, I must say the book itself dragged a little, especially in the middle. A lot of what the author discussed went right over my head, but it was easy to get the general idea. I loved hearing about people who use exercise as a prescribed medication. I am all over that! All in all, there is much to be learned from this book, and I will start my exercise program up again tomorrow because of it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    06-08-10
    06-08-10 Member Since 2015
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    "Great Motivator for Exercise"

    Really interesting book. Learned so much about how the brain works, and my motivation to go out and exercise has really increased after finding out about how beneficial it is to mental health. I liked that a lot of the research in the book was quite new. Very eye-opening stuff.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan richmond, ME, USA 12-10-08
    Dan richmond, ME, USA 12-10-08
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    "Some real gems mixed in."

    There was a bit of really thought provoking info in here... but I felt like it was a little slow and dealt with depression way to much... if you are depressed, old, or a woman with PMS issues you might get a little more out of this book than someone who is none of those things... I enjoyed the science parts of the book and some of the studies discussed.. I wish there had been more of that.

    22 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Yoshida 11-03-13
    A. Yoshida 11-03-13
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    "Exercise is good medicine"

    The simple message from the book is to do vigorous exercise daily or at least three times a week. Throughout the book is the science and stories about how exercise can improve the quality of life whether you're stressed or suffering from a disease. I think most people can relate to many of the topics in the book because they may be going through it or know someone who is, such as obesity, Alzheimer's, addiction, depression, and ADD. Even for topics that I didn't find to be relevant in my life, I found the scientific evidence fascinating. Whereas medication almost always have side effects, exercising isn't harmful. As long as people can keep slowly work up to a vigorous pace and do it consistently, they'll see that exercising is good medicine.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
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    Sylvia Logan, UT, USA 05-31-10
    Sylvia Logan, UT, USA 05-31-10
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    "informative"

    Scientific, informative, and enlightening explanation of the effect of exercise on brain chemistry. If you suffer from anxiety, depression, or ADD, this book will help you understand more about your condition and how exercise can help you.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 09-01-14
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 09-01-14 Member Since 2008

    College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

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    "Science of the obvious..."

    Exercise makes you feel better and perform better. Exercise is the best treatment for depression and can replace many meds with harmful side effects. About all that can be said about this is...it's about time!

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
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    Dana Swanzey, NH, USA 07-08-10
    Dana Swanzey, NH, USA 07-08-10 Member Since 2005
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    "Reason to work out--instant gratification"

    I've recommended this book to anyone that will listen. Ratey has gone on a fact-finding mission about the effects of exercise on mental health and acuity, and what was news to me was the same-day benefits of working out. I just reread (listened to) this book for the third time--it's very motivational when I'm trying to increase my level of fitness.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ergai Ta 03-10-15
    Ergai Ta 03-10-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Too technical, but useful"

    Useful book about brain and exercise. Way too many medical terms and details, maybe more suitable for medical students. Interesting nonetheless.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    André ORLANDO, FL, United States 08-01-12
    André ORLANDO, FL, United States 08-01-12 Member Since 2011

    I love AUDIBLE! I never get mad at traffic jams and can listen to many different books, despite of my short time.

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    "Get up and do your exercice!"

    This is a book that changed my life. I was always an athete and never thought that a book about exercice could modify my view about it. Well, it did. I learned that physicial exercice grows neurons, makes you more focused. And I put it in practice. Before, when I had to study hard I skiped the gym. Now, I first do the PE and then study. I passed in 2 very difficult public sector recuit examinations--> doctor from the senate and doctor of the supreme court of justice, following the advices in this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teri 05-16-12
    Teri 05-16-12

    3 Men & Me

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    "I want to read this in hardcopy now!!"

    Excellent! Excellent!! Walter Dixon does a wonderful job of reading the material and putting life to the page with the examples of exercise and its benefit for memory, learning, ADHD, mood, etc that John Ratey provides. There was so much there, that I am going to purchase a hardcopy to review and keep for reference. Also great resource for those who are seeking additional support to decreasing use of pharmaceuticals.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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