Spark Book Cover

Spark

The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain
Publishing Year: 2013
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Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John Ratey is a 2010 book that discusses the importance of regular exercise, not only for our body but also for our mind. It talks about the innumerable effects of exercising; some of them are dealing with anxiety, stress, depression, and battling old-age. In a simple and yet scientific way, Ratey discusses the endless benefits of exercising. If you want to lead a physically as well as mentally healthy life, this book can work wonders for you.

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Lesson 1. Introduction.

 

Did you know that immediately after a session of intense exercise, your vocab memorization speed improves by 20%? Some people are born with a genetic predisposition against exercising. The author tells us that regular exercise is what has kept his mother healthy even in her late 80s. 

“For a 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 

Exercise helps our brain even more than it helps our body. The mind and the body are not mutually exclusive, according to the author. If you exercise for only half an hour every day, you will be able to focus better and learn faster. Certain emotional issues have a biological basis and can be treated by focusing on the body.

Lesson 2. Exercise improves the brain and body.

 

At Naperville Central High School in Western Chicago, a Pilot Zero Hour PE Program focuses on the students’ physical activities. They aim for cardiovascular fitness in the kids. The kids stay between 80% to 90% of their maximum heart rate, and that helps them to achieve their personal bests. 

As a result, in an internationally conducted test known as Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), the students from this school defeated everybody else to finish first.

When we engage in physical activities, biological changes in our bodies encourage our brain cells to bind to one another. Physical education teacher Phil Lawler realized that being fast did not have to do much with being fit. Exercising and staying fit also enhances our ability to learn from our mistakes.

Lesson 3. Grow your brain cells.

 

Exercise enhances the infrastructure of our brains by making it able to create the connections that we need to learn. This is made possible by the increase in levels of important neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin in the brain, that is induced by exercise. Exercise also helps to change your brain cells physically. A class of ‘master molecules’ aids this process. They are also known as growth factors. They form the building blocks for new brain cells and connections. The BDNF or Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor is a ‘master molecule’ that nourishes our brain and helps the brain cells grow. 

Exercise improves our mind in three ways:

  1. It makes us alert and attentive as well as motivates us by optimizing our mindset.
  2. It makes the nerve

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About the author

John J. Ratey with Eric Hagerman Image

“John J. Ratey, MD, a distinguished psychiatrist and Harvard Medical School professor. His groundbreaking research illuminates how physical activity profoundly impacts mental health, cognition, and overall well-being, revolutionizing our approach to m...

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Spark Book Cover
Chapter List
  • Lesson 1. Introduction.
  • Lesson 2. Exercise improves the brain and body.
  • Lesson 3. Grow your brain cells.
  • Lesson 4. How to handle stress?
  • Lesson 5. How to handle anxiety?
  • Lesson 6. How to handle depression?
  • Lesson 7. How to handle Attention Deficit Disorder?
  • Lesson 8. Reclaim the Biology of Self-Control.
  • Lesson 9. How hormonal changes impact women’s brain health.
  • Lesson 10. The wise way to age.
  • Lesson 11. Build your brain.
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FAQs

In the summary of Spark book, there are 11 key lessons. These lessons include:

  1. Lesson 1. Introduction.
  2. Lesson 2. Exercise improves the brain and body.
  3. Lesson 3. Grow your brain cells.
  4. Lesson 4. How to handle stress?
  5. Lesson 5. How to handle anxiety?
  6. Lesson 6. How to handle depression?
  7. Lesson 7. How to handle Attention Deficit Disorder?
  8. Lesson 8. Reclaim the Biology of Self-Control.
  9. Lesson 9. How hormonal changes impact women’s brain health.
  10. Lesson 10. The wise way to age.
  11. Lesson 11. Build your brain.

Spark by John J. Ratey with Eric Hagerman was published in 2013.

Once you've completed Spark book, We suggest reading out Lean In as a great follow-up read.

Yes, the book Spark is really good to read. 135 people have searched for the book summary on the Wizdom platform. The book summary has a rating of 0.0, 0 on our platform.

In the printed version of Spark book have over 300 pages and usually takes 8-10 days to finish. However, with the Wizdom app, including its summary and audiobook, it can be completed in just 15 minutes.

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