Thursday, March 16, 2017

Book 28: Spark

Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey takes a fascinating look at the relationship between exercise and brain function.  Citing numerous scientific studies as well as various anecdotal stories, Ratey looks at the benefits of exercise relative to learning, stress, anxiety, depression, attention deficit, hormonal changes, and aging.  Anyone looking for some motivation to exercise or to improve their consistency is certain to find something in the text.  Most of the focus relates to aerobic exercise, but other forms of exercise are also mentioned although they generally do not have as many scientific studies relating to them.  The following are some general take always from the book:

  1. Exercise improves both the body and the mind.
  2. Consistent exercise balances the chemistry of the brain.
  3. Exercise can actually build neural pathways reversing previous damage.
  4. There are far more good reasons to get off my butt and exercise than excuses not to do so.
While the book can be a little tedious with all of the biochemistry, it is definitely worth taking time to read and I would recommend it for everyone.  5 stars.

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