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Nature's Ritalin for the Marathon Mind: Nurturing Your ADHD Child with Exercise Paperback – January 1, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 142 pages
  • Publisher: Upper Access, Inc.; 1 edition (January 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0942679261
  • ISBN-13: 978-0942679267
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,085,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Steve Putnam shares an important concept that needs to be considered as a useful and rational alternative to drugs." -- Jaak Panksepp, PhD, Dept of Psychology, Bowling Green State Univ.

"Steve Putnam's book is fascinating. It is a 'must-read' for anybody interested in ADHD." -- Thom Hartman, author of several major books on ADHD

I find this volume exciting. It could have a major impact on our lives and the lives of our children. -- Dr. Mark Shipman, dir., Inst. for Developmental Research

Putnam shares a . . . useful and eminently rational alternative to popular drugs whose long-term effects remain to be evaluated. -- Dr. Jaak Panksepp, Dept of Psych, Bowling Green Univ.

About the Author

Stephen C. Putnam introduced--and advocates for--the now-popular concept that excercise can effectively supplement, and sometimes eliminate need for medication for ADHD children. He holds an M.ed degree in guidance and psychological services. As an adult ADHD, he adds personal experience to his extensive research, and has been a presenter for both of the major national ADHD organizations.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jacqueline Smith R.N., B.S. on September 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
As a nurse working with children and adolescents in Residential Treatment I am aware of the many problems families, teachers, counselors, and medical professionals face related to ADHD and the myriad of other psychiatric diagnoses placed on our youngsters.
In "Nature's Ritalin for the Marathon Mind" Steve Putnam has gotten the word out on the body-mind connection and the effect of exercise on the brains neurochemical system. More importantly, this is done in an easy to read manner making it possible for those in need to understand and to be able to develop a plan that is workable for them.
There is no one treatment for these children. A combination of medication, therapy, and a consistent daily routine is needed. Often exercise is completely neglected but can, as is pointed out in Putnam's credible book, address a number of psychiatric diagnoses while building self esteem, developing consistency in daily routines, and enhancing the general health of our youth. All of these issues need to be seriously addressed in our culture. The rationale to use the "marathon mind" in this positive, healthy way is completely plausable and could greatly decrease or make more manageable these problems for many children and their families. In some cases it may even eliminate the need for medication or placement outside the family home.
I hope the general public and the professionals working with our youth heed this important message. The book is an essential read for anyone living or working with children with these issues.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Debbie Thurman on July 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
Stephen Putnam has written a book that will undoubtedly help many parents of ADHD children who are seeking remedies that can enhance therapies already in place. He provides ample evidence of the therapeutic benefits of aerobic exercise for children while at the same time acknowledging the efficacy of medication for some children.
Putnam's positive labeling of ADHD as "marathon mind" removes the stigma for families who are faced with the ADHD diagnosis. As someone who suffered from Major Depressive Disorder for more than a decade as an adult, I am well aware of how exercise enhances mental health. While ADHD and anxiety/depressive disorders do not necessarily accompany one another, there is common neurobiological ground. I've seen enough cases within my own family-the most dramatic being a brother who would have been diagnosed as having ADHD some 40 years ago-to know that Putnam is on to something. This brother's adult mental illness was delayed, in my opinion, by his athletics participation. He turned from athletics to abusing drugs with predictable results. Surely an exercise program is a godsend for the juvenile with the marathon mind, regardless of whether there is any predisposition to other mental health problems.
This book will likewise be beneficial for educators, all of whom are challenged with ADHD children in their classrooms. Putnam offers some sound and workable advice and interesting anecdotal evidence for consideration. Like me, the author was his own laboratory. This is not the blind leading the blind, as is so often the case. He now passes on his success formula to others. I believe this book belongs on every primary care physician's shelf, as well.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "njlevin" on January 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book provides a common sense, lay-language approach not only to its intended audience - adults dealing with ADHD children - but also a general populous.
It's the simple and obvious that is so often forgotten or dismissed. Putnam effectively outlines how exercise impacts behavior, mental acuity, attitude and pleasure. While the book is intended to address the issues associated with ADHD, it is applicable to any parent, child, teacher or adult seeking possible avenues for relief and release. His casual writing style, anecdotal fodder and how-to approach makes this book an easy read and useful resource for anyone who deals with kids (or is a kid at heart).
Given the increasingly sedate nature of our culture, this book is an inexpensive and valuable resource for anyone trying to balance attitudes, actions and performance.
Of course, parents dealing with ADHD children have tremendous challenges. I've witnessed the trauma an ADHD family faces, particularly when medication is not effective and/or accepted. This book provides some wonderful possibilities for these frustrated, exhausted parents, to redirect and focus their child's intellect through exercise. Putnam doesn't claim (and carefully cautions readers to seek expert input) to offer a panacea, but does provide some interesting, documented and easily implemented ideas for encouraging and monitoring regular physical activity in the ADHD child with the goal of minimizing symptoms and encouraging excellence.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Booth on August 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
Finally an author has written a book that explores the multitude of aspects of ADHD in layman's terms. As an educator, I have found "Nature's Ritalin for the Marathon Mind" to be an invaluable resource. With the advent of Satellite TV, Nintendo 64, and now motorized scooters, the exercise of children, or the lack therof, has become a hot and controversial topic. In his book, Putnam explores this mind-body connection between exercise and ADHD. Putnam dives straight into the debate of ADHD and medication. From research and information from experts and physicians in the field, Putnam proposes that the inexpensive commons sense treatment of exercise, in conjuction with or in place of medications, can greatly enhance the lives and produtivity of children with ADHD. From the information presented in this book, I have a better understanding of the neurochemical elements of ADHD and the mind-body connection. This has not only helped me to become more patient and understanding of the ADHD children in my classrom, but has also provided me with a viable and inexpensive way to help them. The extensive research in this book affords me the chance to clearly explain ADHD and the benefit of exercise to other teachers, children, parents, and families. With his approach, Putnam offers a new approach to viewing ADHD that removes the social stigma- a force so strong that many parents and children refuse help. Thankfully, Putnam does not layout a strict step by step program for helping children with ADHD. Rather, he outlines issues and suggests possibilities leaving the specifics to be determined case by case. This book is an invaluable and indispensible reference for educators, physicians, parents, and anyone who has ADHD or knows someone with ADHD.
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