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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I don't know
This book spent 3 hours saying the same thing several different ways and defensively arguing the valid point that excessive promotes a healthy brain. This whole book could have fit in a single chapter.
I love AUDIBLE! I never get mad at traffic jams and can listen to many different books, despite of my short time.
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.
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.
I am overly picky and give this book 4 stars if only for its redundant subtitle (the revolutionary *and* new...). The overall story could have stood further edits, and if you don't understand a lot of neuroscience some sections may leave you in the dust, but this is well worth a listen if you are at all interested in exercise and recent scientific discoveries about its multiple benefits. I did find the story very engaging, and the narration is quite good.
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