Spark – A Bite-sized Review

Full Title

Spark – The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

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. —Plato

John J. Ratey, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

Author Tidbit

John J. Ratey, M.D., is a passionate associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and an author. Some of his other titles include : Driven to Distraction, Answers to Distraction, and Delivered from Distraction. He also published the book named A User’s Guide to the Brain in 2001, in which he describes the human brain as a flexible muscle, which works on a “use it or lose it” basis. All of his works are revolved around the brain, and Spark is no different.

exercise is as effective as certain medications for treating anxiety and depression.

John J. Ratey, Spark: TheRevolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

Who’s it written for?

All human beings. Bonus if you’ve been affected by depression and anxiety

One of the prominent features of exercise, which is sometimes not appreciated in studies, is an improvement in the rate of learning,

John J. Ratey, Spark: TheRevolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

What’s it about?

Spark is an intriguing investigation into the surprising relationship between the body and the mind. It’s a collection of case studies and data surrounded the unbelievable relationship between physical exercise and improved cognitive function and dramatically decreased rates of depression and anxiety in subjects.

the message I want to leave you with is that even as your body changes, exercise will keep your mind firm and taught.

John J. Ratey, Spark: TheRevolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

3 Takeaways

1 – Exercise can change your brain for the better.

2 – Exercise slows down not only physical signs of aging, but mental as well.

3 – Though underused, exercise is a very effective solution for depression and anxiety.

exercise has yet to be embraced as a medical treatment. It doesn’t simply raise serotonin or dopamine or norepinephrine. It adjusts all of them, to levels that, we can only presume, have been optimally programmed by evolution.

John J. Ratey, Spark: TheRevolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

1 Pro

Spark is very informative and written in a way that doesn’t make you feel ashamed of yourself for not being fit. This is rare in books about exercise, this book is actually a fun read full of endless fascinating and entertaining case-studies that will “Spark” your intrinsic motivation to exercise to take full advantage of the countless benefits.

1 Con

My only con stems from frustration for not having read this book, or heard about it much much earlier. When revolutionary studies such as these are published, I always wish more people got on board like teachers, and most workplaces “why can’t we all work at a place like google?!”. If we know all of this, then why are sedentary lifestyles so rampant? Is this another Big Pharma conspiracy?

if you have an important afternoon brainstorming session scheduled, going for a short, intense run during lunchtime is a smart idea.

John J. Ratey, Spark: TheRevolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

Cop it or Drop it?

Drop and five me 20 and then go buy yourself 3 copies of this book! The upside of it being a few years old is that the price is beautiful to behold. Change your own life, and then change the lives of the people you gift it to for the better! This book empowers people to take their physical and mental health into their own hands! Must read! It’s all the gym motivation you’ll ever need. #ForeverYoung

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