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Publisher's Summary

A groundbreaking and fascinating investigation into the transformative effects of exercise on the brain, from the best-selling 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, MD, 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, MD (P)2021 Little, Brown Spark

Critic Reviews

"At last a book that explains to me why I feel so much better if I run in the morning! This very readable book describes the science behind the mind-body connection and adds to the evidence that exercise is the best way to stay healthy, alert, and happy!" (Dr. Susan M. Love, author of Dr. Susan Love's Menopause and Hormone Book and Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book

"Bravo! This is an extremely important book. What Cooper did decades ago for exercise and the heart, Ratey does in SPARK for exercise and the brain. Everyone - teachers, doctors, managers, policy-makers, individuals trying to lead the best kind of life - can benefit enormously from the utterly convincing and brilliantly documented thesis of this ground-breaking work. People know that exercise helps just about everything, except anorexia, but it will surprise most people just how dramatically it improves all areas of mental functioning. So, get moving! You're brain will thank you and repay you many times over." (Edward Hallowell, MD, The Hallowell Centers)

"This book is a real turning point that explains something I've been trying to figure out for years. Having experienced symptoms of both ADHD and mild depression, I have personally witnessed the powerful effects of exercise, and I've suspected that the health benefits go way beyond just fitness. Exercise is not simply necessary, as Dr. Ratey clearly shows, it's medicine." (Greg LeMond, three-time winner of the Tour de France)   

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What listeners say about Spark

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I’ve read it 2 times now, and I’m going for a third

Excellent quality narration, and life-changing information. I’m very satisfied with it. I’m actually listening to it after every exercise.

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I learned a ton!

I will listen to this over and over, particularly the heavy parts. The performance kept my attention. I bought 5 hard copies to give away as gifts.

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Must Read List Material.

In my top 3 life changing potential books. If you like self help at all this will quickly become one of your favourite recommended books.

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Brilliant!

We are born to move and the books brilliantly explains the science of WHY! As a non-scientist myself, I found the intellectual background easy to follow. As a parent and teacher, I was enthralled by the educational link between body and brain. Excellent book all around.

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Most influential and important listen of my life

I have a masters in kinesiology from TAMU and learned so much about relevant studies and how aerobic exercise literally loses everything. Scientific, evidence-based, and simply amazing.

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Very Inspirational

I was always under the assumption that exercise makes you fit, and helps you lose weight. I never knew how it affected the brain. I can see many of the items the author covered happening to me right now, almost as if he knew me personally. I'm happy to find this book while I still have time to take action.

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Truly a 5 star — I’d give it a ten if I could

I appreciate the author’s thoroughness in research AND its applicability. I also appreciate his mission to create lasting-healthy goals through exercise in writing this book. This helped me open my eyes to my own life and those I treat as a healthcare provider. Everyone — literally EVERYONE should read this book. After all — we all have a body and a brain we are looking after. I want to further encourage and reiterate what is taught in this book — exercise is key to health and prosperity. With with your doctor on how to get active if you aren’t — and please doctors — I’m begging you to “prescribe” exercise more. There’s no magic pill. Medication has a time and place, absolutely, but I’ve never heard my doctor at any appointment or annual exam ask or discuss how my exercise habits are going. NOT ONCE. This is going to have to take both a bottom-up and a top-down approach to change. We personally need to advocate for ourselves and our health and doctors need to spend more time educating on different aspects of health.

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thanks

listed to it twice. Great content introduced me to Bernd , this was all good. good work

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Outstanding and Interesting

This is a very informative book presented in a manner that the layman listener (or reader) can understand. It offers much to anyone looking for intrinsic motivation to exercise.

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Interesting and informative book

After exercising for the past few months, and I am constantly looking for material to reinforce routine exercising in my life. Facebook explains the benefits of exercise in terms that are not difficult to understand, and gave Me and understanding of how exercise works with her brain. Great book.