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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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4.1 (2673 )
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  •  
    Dan richmond, ME, USA 12-10-08
    Dan richmond, ME, USA 12-10-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    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
  •  
    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
  •  
    K. Bostedor 09-28-12
    K. Bostedor 09-28-12
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    "Redundant Redundant Redundant Redundant ... and .."
    This book wasn???t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I don't know


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    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
  •  
    N. Barnes 05-09-12
    N. Barnes 05-09-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Interesting and worthwhile, but not superb"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Omar 04-06-12
    Omar 04-06-12 Member Since 2011

    “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” - Albert Einstein

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Motivational"

    A truly motivational message that will definitely get you to exercise more ( I was cramped for two days after listening to it :D) However in some chapters it sounds too technical with numbingly boring details, could have been more to the point!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pankaew San Francisco, CA, United States 08-07-11
    Pankaew San Francisco, CA, United States 08-07-11 Member Since 2011
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    "The Only Book to Get Me to Exercise"

    I've never really managed to stick with an exercise routine until I read this book. As an entrepreneur, my productivity is one of the most important things to me. All the evidence presented in this book essentially turned my "yeah I'd like to exercise" to "exercising is a mandatory part of my life."

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 177 results PREVIOUS12318NEXT
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  • ianatyler
    holmfirth, United Kingdom
    9/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "slow start but well worth the wait"
    Would you listen to Spark again? Why?

    yes clear easy to listen to


    Any additional comments?

    just what the doctor ordered.
    Highly interesting links between exercise and overall mental and physical health. Well worth the money

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Daniel
    Kildare, Ireland
    12/2/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Spark to your training !!!!!"
    Would you listen to Spark again? Why?

    Yes. This book offers the reader a really insightful look at the connections between exercise and the mind.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The interest it has 'Sparked' in my own training routine and that the benefits it has thought me has lead to real improvements in both my fitness level and state of mind.


    What does Walter Dixon bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    The authors heartfelt belief in his years of study and research is brought to life by the narrator.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The fact that the author believes so strongly that the connection between fitness and the mind and its ability to treat depression is an interesting concept that you can put to the test, if your feeling a little blue.....go for a run !!!! Okay not that simple but is the basis of the concept.


    Any additional comments?

    Well, well, well worth a read if you are looking for an inspirational kick for your fitness goals.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • E
    Buckingham, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Thought provoking, energising and inspiring!"

    It was great to hear theories I had backed up by solid real life examples. It is just a shame we don't take these very simple steps to a healthy world. We would all feel so much better if we just made a start and schools are a great place to start.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jens
    Toftir, Faroe Islands
    8/19/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Exelent book"
    What did you like most about Spark?

    This book focusede on the main problem we have in the modern world today. As well as showing what the solution is.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Julie
    London, United Kingdom
    7/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it"
    What made the experience of listening to Spark the most enjoyable?

    The fact that I am interested in health and preventative care.


    Would you ever listen to anything by John J. Ratey again?

    Yes for sure.


    Which character – as performed by Walter Dixon – was your favourite?

    The narrrator, only character.


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

    No. It was scientific. It gave me hope though.


    Any additional comments?

    I would reccomend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-5 of 5 results

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