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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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Kathleen on 11-02-08

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.

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54 of 55 people found this review helpful


By Roman on 12-17-09

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.

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72 of 75 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By ianatyler on 09-10-14

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

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By Daniel on 12-02-13

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.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Mrs. B L S A Feltovich on 12-13-17

Good, but...

I liked it but the science is sometimes difficult to follow for non scientific people.

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By Lachlan on 10-23-17

Excellent

I have ADHD, and I've been told a thousand times that exercise is hugely important in my management strategy, but no matter how many times I was told this by doctors, psychologists and other specialists, I never paid much heed. So many doctors give general recommendations as a matter of routine, I'm used to ignoring a lot of them. But knowing the exact reasons WHY it's so important, especially with the scientific explanations, has made me actually take it seriously. This book totally changed the way I view exercise, and it's become a non-negotiable priority for me.

The only negative for me is that when delving into the actual science, explanations of biochemistry and stuff, it was hard to keep up with all the terminology at times - names of neurotransmitters, all their respective functions etc. This is inherent with the subject matter in the audio format though - the science can't be explained without using the correct terms, but when listening you can't slow down for the more complex parts. Some books I've given up going and bought the kindle version instead because they were way too dense for audio, but this one isn't that bad, and overall is quite engaging and easy enough to take in.

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