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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

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  •  
    Kathleen Olympia, WA, USA 11-02-08
    Kathleen Olympia, WA, USA 11-02-08 Member Since 2006
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    "Spark"

    Inspiring, motivational, fascinating

    As a nurse I've long known that exercise is good for us, but John Ratey reinforces why with plenty of terrific studies. The physiology is fascinating, the research current and all presented in a manner that we can apply to our every day lives. I highly recommend this book to all; those of us who already exercise and to those of us who need to.

    44 of 45 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roman Saint-Petersburg, Russia 12-17-09
    Roman Saint-Petersburg, Russia 12-17-09
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    "Scientific and motivational"

    I find this book extremely useful. I prefer books that are scientifically strict and contain no pseudo-motivational bullshit. This book is a great example of how good material makes a great motivation itself.

    I have no professional knowledge in medicine, yet still somehow the examples, terms and facts in the book are so really interesting. Yes, the author uses complicated terms quite often, but he really repeats them over and over and always explains briefly what they mean. If you're interested in a particular term, you can always google it and find out some more on the subject. But the book presents a great deal of fresh information, exciting studies and some personal stories. It covers aspects of exercising for different stages of life and genders. By reading it, you will not only understand how to take care of yourself, but how and why you should motivate other people to do exercises.

    I'm a programmer and an entrepreneur and I really enjoy learning all the time and getting more knowledge. As well as I enjoy staying fit. But until I read this book, I couldn't mentally connect these two things. I've been lifting weights and doing my cardio for over 4 years now and I've always noticed how they make me feel better, but I didn't know why. And, sometimes the motivation for the workouts slipped away because I couldn't see the measurable results. Now, thanks to the book, I have another source of motivation, which is supported by hundreds of scientific studies and facts.

    57 of 60 people found this review helpful
  •  
    techchic Grand Rapids, MI USA 10-03-08
    techchic Grand Rapids, MI USA 10-03-08

    Tech Mom

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    "Loved this book!"

    I listened to this entire book in just a few days. it is interesting and informative and life changing! I have new motivation to exercise! I never thought about how exercise could affect my mind and happiness. I highly recommend. Wonderful!

    49 of 52 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim United States 04-15-11
    Tim United States 04-15-11 Member Since 2011

    Do you read the book before you dislike my reviews?

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    "Being Disabled"

    I was born with Cerebral Palsy and confined in a wheelchair for all of my life. I workout at least 3-5 times a week in the gym for at least 90 minutes each day. I know for a fact that working out help me physically and mentally. This book is great. When I'm in the gym, I forget that I'm even disable. More people should workout and promote fitness.

    37 of 40 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Amsterdam, NY, United States 03-28-10
    Michael Amsterdam, NY, United States 03-28-10 Member Since 2013
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    "Great book and definitely worth a listen"

    Fascinating but with practical, useful information as well. As a neuroscience geek, I really enjoyed the book, especially its integrative approach with everything that's known about brain plasticity.

    The narrator is excellent as well.

    25 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. Anonymous United States 07-20-14
    Mr. Anonymous United States 07-20-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Interesting at first, but soon becomes repetitive"

    This book presents some scientific interesting data about the beneficial effects of exercise. However, the book should be treated more as a reference than as a work that you read (or listen to) from start to finish. The author addresses many different health problems, all of which are improved by exercise. After a while, the research findings start to become dull and repetitive. My advice is to read only the chapters that pertain to your particular health issues.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Everling Palo Alto, California 04-09-11
    David Everling Palo Alto, California 04-09-11 Member Since 2011

    Skipper

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    "Excellent exercise motivator!"

    An excellent exercise motivator! This being a pop-science book it'll be most effective if you're a logically minded person or in need of some explicit reasons to overcome creeping apathy or procrastination. One of the best aspects of a book on exercise is that you can test and verify the essential ideas as they relate to your own experience; I often listened to the audiobook while jogging or at the gym. Knowing more about how something you're doing is good for you is an additional reward in itself, and for me this encapsulates the main value of reading this book.

    The book is of course pro-exercise throughout its illustrative anecdotes and in its description of the physiological mechanisms involved, but it does look at a wide variety of experience, from physical pain to depression & mental disorders to everyday moods. Ratey isn't as good as a journalist or fiction writer, but he's clearly a doctor who's explained these ideas to patients and skeptics before, and he provides a reasonable and persuasive case for the substantially positive effects of exercising and elevating heart rate on a regular basis (i.e. in a manner consistent with natural human evolution).

    16 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan indianapolis, IN, United States 04-12-10
    Jonathan indianapolis, IN, United States 04-12-10 Member Since 2007
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    "as much "a-ha" as it is "duh""

    cold have been shorter only because the author makes the same point more than once. but they are good points. it is well established that regular exercise can improve mood. but this book trys to get into how this process happens. the author does seem to have a bias toward walking and running as the prefered forms of exercise for health. but just understanding how anything done for physical health affects mental health is a great place to start.

    24 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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.

    3 of 3 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.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
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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

    4 of 4 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.

    4 of 4 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.

    3 of 3 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.

    3 of 3 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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • dr
    1/6/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I get the message"

    I was inspired to tell everyone I met about the first chapter.
    After that it was a bit repetitive, but did keep reinforcing the idea that exercise is good. There were more hormones mentioned, many times, than I felt a need for. Some of the pronunciation was not as I expected (minor quibble ).
    Last couple of chapters felt particularly relevant.
    Will listen again;, and look for written version to give to people.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • nav
    2/2/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely fantastic"

    Loved it. a real insight on whats going inside our brain when we exercise. A brilliant audio book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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