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.

In SPARK, John Ratey, MD embarks upon a fascinating journey through the mind-body connection, illustrating that exercise is truly our best defense against everything from depression to ADD to addiction to menopause to Alzheimer’s. Filled with amazing case studies (such as the revolutionary fitness program in Naperville, Illinois, that has put the local 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.

$ 7.80


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0 thoughts on “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

  1. 310 of 321 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    The Brain on Exercise, January 9, 2008
    By 
    steven langston “searcher” (Kentucky United States) –

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This book explains in clear terms the role exercise plays in our mental processes. Moving our muscles produces proteins that play roles in our highest thought processes. Ratey says, “thinking is the internalization of movement.” He illustrates this with the story of the sea squirt that hatches with a rudimentary spinal cord and 300 brain cells. It has only hours to find a spot of coral on which to put down roots or die. When it does put down roots, it eats its brain. According to Ratey only a moving animal needs a brain.

    He begins with the value exercise has for the learning process in high school students: improved academic performance, alertness, attention and motivation.

    He cites studies that say we can alter our mental states by physically moving. He said depression is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. He then presents a chapter where depression is relieved in case studies by exercise.

    Among the areas Ratey covers are: stress, depression, ADD, and aging. This book is a great motivator for exercise.

    However, Ratey’s work was preceded by Glenn Doman’s. Doman advocated exercise for brain injured children in the 1950s when the only ‘treatment’ was to institutionalize them. He later started a `super babies’ program. Both the educational and medical establishments attacked and marginalized Doman’s work.

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  2. 145 of 149 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Eye Opening, January 21, 2008
    By 
    Brunello (Honolulu) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    Our doctors always say to get more exercise. We always yawn and say of course; we’ve heard it all before. And then we are mediocre in our follow up. After reading Spark my entire viewpoint has changed. Exercise is a master key to brain functioning. Cholesterol and other system problems caused by lack of exercise are a bit ambiguous since we often can’t directly feel them until we manifest some disease. Brain functioning is something else entirely. We can feel an almost immediate change after aerobic exercise. After reading Spark I definitely have become a six day a week exerciser. I need my brain functioning as well as possible, and the data in this book has made a believer out out of me.

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  3. 142 of 158 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    The brain-exercise connection finally explained !!, January 9, 2008
    By 
    M. Bankal (NJ, USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Having ready 2 previous books by John : The users guide to brain and Driven
    by distraction i was looking forward to reading SPARK. I was especially
    interested in learning how John was going to tie exercise with the brain
    functioning since i am a strong supporter of exercise and have experienced
    its benefits. I knew before reading SPARK that exercise in some way does
    make you feel better. But SPARK puts it in perspective from a scientific
    point of view. The chapters on Stress and depression particularly caught my
    attention since most of us struggle with these 2 issues at some point in
    life and again most of us turn to popping a pill to deal with it. If its as
    simple as getting on a treadmill or a bike and working out for 30-45
    minutes without any side effects, then it seems only logical to do it. The
    BDNF (Miracle-gro as John calls it) was a very interesting read for me. I
    did had to go back and re-read certain topics as was it too much medical
    terms to comprehend in one read. But once i got it, it became permanent and
    that’s the beauty of this book.
    Its simple yet powerful in its message. The simplicity comes from the fact
    that “you goto workout “. The power comes from the facts / data that proves
    “why you goto workout”. Once the reader ties the two together, the message
    is very clear and hopefully will remain for a lifetime with the reader.
    Today if you look around there is a lot of awareness among people about the
    ill-effects of obesity. There are TV programs, advertisements, books about
    why exercising is good for you and how it will help you be more fit. But
    this is the only books that tells you that exercise will also make your
    brain fit along with your body. The brain-body connection is important and
    one cannot be ignored over the other.

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