Spark

Spark

The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

Book - 2008
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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
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown, 2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780316113502
Branch Call Number: ANF 612.76 RAT
Characteristics: ix, 294 p. ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Hagerman, Eric

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r
rmyre
Nov 29, 2015

Information everyone should know!!!

Christopher99 Jun 05, 2014

This is a wonderful popular science book on the neurological and psychological benefits of exercise.

Yes, we all know the physiological benefits; time and time again it is trotted out.

Yet, how exercise effects the function of the brain and therefore the mind, has never been presented, as far as I know, in a popular form. Dr. Ratey's research career has focused on this very area.

Fascinating to learn how exercise causes dendrite growth, balances the HPA system, increases neurotransmitters, causes neuron growth, lessens effects of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, facilitates greater learning capacity, and sundry other items.

If you are a couch potato, book reader type like I am, this is the evidence you need to get out there and do something physical. Now it just rests with the Will. No more excuses.

runfastread May 31, 2014

Exercise is good for the brain. Really, really good for the brain. In Spark, John Ratey MD, demonstrates how important it is for us to get off the couch and get moving. Not just for our general health or our hearts, but even for our brains. Exercise can help ward off things like depression and even Alzheimer's. It can seriously remodel our brains for peak performance, which is pretty amazing. Even though the book gets repetitive, and is filled with a few too many facts, medical terms, and figures for the average person to digest, it is still a worthwhile read for anyone or any age. Guaranteed, it may make you think about lacing up your running shoes and heading out the door...

j
jamesian
Oct 16, 2010

Delightful exploration of the biochemistry taking place while you do squats, lunges, and run on the elliptical trainer.
Why does learning a new motion require so much of us mentally?
Why is exercise so nurturing of the underlying circuitry inside the brain?
Read this and you will delight in learning new steps in dance class.

h
Hadley
Sep 14, 2009

I was curious about this book after watching a CBC news piece on a dedicated young teacher who'd upped her students' math marks and solved some behaviour problems simply by getting them to run on a treadmill before class started. She was inspired by this book. See http://www.cbc.ca/national/blog/special_feature/brain_gains/.

Ratey's theory is that we're hardwired as hunters and gatherers for a certain level of physical activity, and when we don't get it, our brains don't work properly. It's obvious to anyone with eyes that our sedentary lifestyle is making us fat. Ratey suggests that it's also making us stupid, stressed, and in some cases, addicted. He presents convincing evidence, both from clinical trials and his own medical practice that exercise can help combat grey matter loss, anxiety, stress, ADHD and aging.

Recommended to teachers, or anyone looking for additional motivation to improve their fitness level.

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