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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

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Story

Fascinating, inspiring.

Enough science to take you to a new level. Enough story to keep you interested and motivated.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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

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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.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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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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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

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  • Shane
  • San Tan Valley, AZ, United States
  • 04-09-12

Life Changing if you Apply!!!

(this is another book that needs to be applied in today’s education ) one must not even graduate until this book has been read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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

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Spark Moves Me

I just finished Spark for the 4th time: inspiration, education and motivation wrapped up into one well read, well presented book. The mix of science and anticdote is nearly flawless, the writing is sharp, and the reader is terrific. I am insisting that my wife, my children and my friends get this audio book and follow the simple advice and heed the profound lessons. The research is extensive and presented in a lively, compelling way.

I've long believed that many of the health issues hampering our nation are behaviorial problems rather than true medical issues, and here is evidence that exercise can avoid, lessen or cure many, many of our ills.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Pankaew
  • San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 08-07-11

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

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Gets you running

I am a computer sceince major who is a dev group manager who spends his life infront of a computer and also love to learn things so i did another degree in Psychology. Have 3 kids and no time. This was my regular excuse for being a couch potato. Listened to this book and decided to start running. Been doing it for 4 weeks now. Lets see how long it lasts. Very interesting read and an eye opener in some cases

2 of 3 people found this review helpful