- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (Jan. 10 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316113506
- ISBN-13: 978-0316113502
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.5 x 24.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 408 g
- Average Customer Review: 44 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #121,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain Hardcover – Jan 10 2008
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"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, 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, M.D., 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^"SPARK is just what we need-a thoughtful, interesting, scientific treatise on the powerful and positive impact of exercise on the brain. 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
About the Author
John Ratey, M.D. is a clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He is the author of numerous bestselling and groundbreaking books, including Driven to Distraction and A User's Guide to the Brain. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he has a private practice. Eric Hagerman is a former editor of Popular Science and Outside. His work has been featured in The Best American Sports Writing 2004, Men's Journal, and PLAY.
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The author wrote the book for the health benefit of the masses, and that's admirable. The country (and most of the world) should seriously consider his well-documented advice.
My main qualm is that Dr. Ratey didn't go out of his way to repeatedly warn his audience to check their heart out before taking on regular exercise. Yes, he does say on pg. 257 "It's not a good idea to put that kind of strain on your heart if it's not used to it...your doctor needs to clear you for takeoff." And he likely mentioned again briefly in other areas, but that's not enough.
Readers who may unknowingly have dangerously high LDL (i.e. bad) cholesterol and accompanying heart disease can push their vulnerable hearts to the brink if they exercise at the moderate/high intensity that Dr. Ratey recommends. It's no secret that millions of North American's suffer heart disease and many suffer unknowingly; so this qualm I have is certainly not an isolated/personal concern...
Just as Dr. Ratey repeatedly* showed in each chapter how exercise benefits the brain, he should have repeatedly* given a blatant boilerplate warning to get your heart checked before doing anything.
As monumental and inspiring as this book truly is, a strengthened brain will do you no good without a beating heart...
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