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Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain Paperback – January 1, 2013
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"At last a book that explains to me why I feel so much better if I run in the morning!"―Dr. Susan M. Love, author of Dr. Susan Love's Menopause and Hormone Book and Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book
"SPARK is just what we need. In mental health, exercise is a growth stock and Ratey is our best broker."―Ken Duckworth, M.D., Medical Director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness
"This book is a real turning point that explains something I've been trying to figure out for years. Exercise is not simply necessary, as Dr. Ratey clearly shows, it's medicine."―Greg LeMond, three-time winner of the Tour de France
"SPARK is mercifully short on Ivy League med-school-speak. And it may just spell the end of all dumb-jock jokes."―Outside Magazine
"I enthusiastically recommend this book...If your goal is to live a long and healthy life to the fullest then Spark should be required reading."―Kenneth H. Cooper, M.D., M.P.H., "Father of Aerobics"
"Bravo! An extremely important book. What Cooper did decades ago for exercise and the heart, Ratey does in SPARK for exercise and the brain. An utterly convincing and brilliantly documented ground-breaking work...So, get moving! Your brain will thank you and repay you many times over."―Edward Hallowell, M.D., The
"Ratey has culled the latest science and found that a regular workout can help build a better, faster brain."―USA Today
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
The front plate quote by Plato says it all," In order for man to succeed in life, God provided him with two means, education and physical activity. Not separately, one for the soul and the other for the body, but for the two together. With these two means, man can attain perfection." (To this I'd like to add good nutrition, sorry Plato.)
This book has many interesting stories together with the technical information. It is a quick, enjoyable read.
We feel good when we exercise because it allows the brain to function at its best. Muscle building, cardiovascular conditioning, reducing stress and tension are secondary. Our society and its conveniences have made it difficult to get enough physical activity. We now have to work at it.
The Naperville School District (19,000 students) west of Chicago has redesigned its P.E. system. All students participate in P.E. classes which develop cardiovascular fitness. In class students use heart rate monitors to gauge their degree of exertion. The only games played are ones with high levels of sweat like three-on-three basketball. Students are taught to encourage and support each other. The results have been dramatic: 10% of the number of overweight children found in other school districts; only 3% of students in Naperville are overweight. In an international study of 230,000 students those from Naperville were sixth in math (first in the U.S.A.) and first in science, ahead of Singapore, China, Korea and Japan. To confirm that the fitness program is key a study compared test results after P.E.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Goes well with Dr. Ken Cooper's Aerobics. Both should be read together.Published 20 hours ago by Janine Thomas
Just an awesome read. Provides great working knowledge of what we know about exercise.Published 4 days ago by Michael
If everybody read this, obesity rates would plummet. This book has EXCELLENT research-based-yet-readable information about how exercise changes us physically, mentally, and... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Pacific Practitioner
"Old" in terms of how fast research in this area has exploded, BUT this one is a classic, and well worth the read. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Barbara Whitehead
Great book with a great section on Sobriety and how important exercise is for people trying to get sober and maintain their sobriety. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Anthony
This book will only interest you if you want to delve into the details of brain/exercise research history. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
bought this book to give to my grandson who just graduated with a degree in physical education. more people need to be aware of these concepts.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I've read before the link between exercise and the brain but this book really explains it more thoroughly and based on a lot of research and a ton of examples. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Rick Yvanovich