[PDF] ↠ Spark Author John J. Ratey – Writerscompany.co.uk


Spark Exercise is the single most powerful tool available to optimize brain function That is the message from this book Everybody knows that exercise creates a fit body, but what many forget is that the brain is part of the body too Modern science has been able to learn much about how the brain works, and has even tracked neurogenesis i.e new cell growth in the brain in response to exercise The old saying, Once your brain cells die, they can t grow back, is a myth.This book has chapters about Exercise is the single most powerful tool available to optimize brain function That is the message from this book Everybody knows that exercise creates a fit body, but what many forget is that the brain is part of the body too Modern science has been able to learn much about how the brain works, and has even tracked neurogenesis i.e new cell growth in the brain in response to exercise The old saying, Once your brain cells die, they can t grow back, is a myth.This book has chapters about the effect of exercise on learning, stress, anxiety, depression, ADHD, addiction, hormonal changes and aging The author explains how exercise helps in each condition Exercise is truly a miracle drug, and you can bet the drug companies are working hard to capture some of its benefits in a pill But the body s and brain s reaction to exercise is so complex, multifaceted and exquisitely balanced as to make it certain to never be fully captured within a pill It should be no surprise that humans respond positively to exercise We re descendants of hunter gatherers who were optimized over thousands of years by evolution to walk and run around the equivalent of many miles per day i.e the couch potato of the caveman era died young.I ve decided to include in this reviewthan the usual amount of excerpts from the book for my future reference I may need this info to motivate myself in the future.This book s focus is exercise, but the author slips a few comments in about nutrition that caught my eye Low carb diets may help you lose weight, but they re not good for your brain Whole grains have complex carbohydrates that supply a steady flow of energy rather than the spike and crash of simple sugars, and they re necessary to transport amino acids such as tryptophan into the brain.The brain is made up ofthan 50 percent fat, so fats are important too, as long as they re the right kind Trans fat, animal fat, and hydrogenated oils gum up the works, but the omega 3s found in fish are enormously beneficial Population studies have shown that countries in which people eat a lot of fish have lower incidence of bipolar disorder And some people use omega 3s as a stand alone treatment for mood disorders and ADHD One study showed that people who eat fish once a week slow the yearly rate of cognitive decline by 10 percent The Framingham Heart Study followed nine hundred people for nine years and found that those who ate three meals with fish oil per week were half as likely to develop dementia Omega 3s lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and neuronal inflammation, and they elevate the immune response and BDNF levels.Because of my age I have particular interest in quotations from the book regarding issues related to aging The following is an extended except from the book pages 233 237 where the author summarizes the ways in which exercise mitigates the human aging process.THE LIFE LISTMuch of the public discourse on aging focuses on baby boomers becoming senior citizens and the belief that their vast numbers will take an unprecedented toll on the health care system, in the form of dementia and other costly health problems But I don t believe we re stuck with this picture of doom and gloom Despite my generation s familiarity with fast food and pay per view, we also came of age with Kenneth Cooper s revolutionary concept of aerobics Unlike previous generations, we recognized how a healthy heart and healthy lungs stave off disease, and we know our way around the gym My mother just happened to have the good habit of walking, and even Harold, the eighty year old skier from Michigan, isn t terribly well versed in matters of health and fitness He once asked the trainer June Smedley what was causing a muscle twitch, and when she suggested it might be dehydration, he scoffed, saying, I drink lots of fluid coffee, milk and wine I have faith that when people come to recognize how their lifestyle can improve their health span living better, not simply longer they will, at the very least, beinclined to stay active And when they come to accept that exercise is as important for the brain as it is for the heart, they ll commit to it Here s how exercise keeps you going 1 It strengthens the cardiovascular system A strong heart and lungs reduce resting blood pressure The result is less strain on the vessels in the body and the brain There are a number of mechanisms at work here First, contracting muscles during exercise releases growth factors such as VEGF and fibroblast growth factor FGF 2 Aside from their role in helping neurons bind and promoting neurogenesis, they trigger a molecular chain reaction that produces endothelial cells, which make up the inner lining of blood vessels and thus are important for building new ones These inroads expand the vascular network, bringing each area of the brain that much closer to a lifeline and creating redundant circulation routes that protect against future blockages Second, exercise introducesnitric oxide, a gas that widens the vessels passageways to boost blood volume Third, the increased blood flow during moderate to intense activity reduces hardening of the brain arteries Finally, exercise can to some extent counteract vascular damage Stroke victims and even Alzheimer s patients who participate in aerobic exercise improve their scores on cognitive tests Starting when you re young is best, but it s never too late 2 It regulates fuel Researchers at the Karolinska Institute conducted a nine year study of 1,173 people over age seventy five None of them had diabetes, but those with high glucose levels were 77 percentlikely to develop Alzheimer s.As we age, insulin levels drop and glucose has a harder time getting into the cells to fuel them Then glucose can skyrocket, which creates waste products in the cells such as free radicals and damages blood vessels, putting us at risk for stroke and Alzheimer s When everything is balanced, insulin works against the buildup of amyloid plaque, but too much encourages the buildup, as well as inflammation, damaging surrounding neurons Exercise increases levels of insullin like growth factor IGF 1 , which regulates insulin in the body and improves synaptic plasticity in the brain By drawing down surplus fuel, exercise also bolsters our supply of BDNF, which is reduced by high glucose 3 It reduces obesity Aside from wreaking havoc on the cardiovascular and metabolic systems, body fat has its own nasty effects on the brain The CDC estimates that 73 percent of Americans over sixty five are overweight, and given the potential problems obesity can lead to from cardiovascular disease to diabetes the agency is right in declaring it a pandemic Simply being overweight doubles the chances of developing dementia, and if we factor in high blood pressure and high cholesterol symptoms that often come along with obesity the risk increases sixfold When people retire, they figure they deserve a break after working their whole lives, and they start piling on the food but what they don t realize is that having dessert with every meal is no treat Exercise, naturally, counteracts obesity on two fronts it burns calories, and it reduces appetite 4 It elevates your stress threshold Exercise combats the corrosive effects of too much cortisol, a product of chronic stress that can bring on depression and dementia It also bolsters neurons against excess glucose, free radicals, and the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, all necessary, but they can damage cells if left unchecked Waste accumulates and junks up the cellular machinery, and it starts turning out dangerous products damaged proteins and broken fragments of DNA that trigger that latent and ultimately inevitable process of cell death that defines aging Exercise makes proteins that fix the damage and delay the process 5 It lifts your mood More neurotransmitters, neurotrophins, and connectivity shore up the hippocampus against the atrophy associated with depression and anxiety And a number of studies have shown that keeping our mood up reduces our chances of developing dementia The evidence applies not only to clinical depression but also to general attitude Staying mobile also allows us to stay involved, keep up with people, and make new friends social connections are important in elevating and sustaining mood 6 It boosts in immune system Stress and age depress the immune response, and exercise strengthens it directly in two important ways First, even moderate activity levels rally the immune system s antibodies and lymphocytes, which you probably know as T cells Antibodies attack bacterial and viral infections, and havingT cells make the bodyalert to the development of conditions such a s cancer Population studies bear this out The most consistent risk factor for cancer is lack of activity Those who are physically active, for instance, have a 50 percent lower chance of developing colon cancer Second, part of the immune system s job is to activate cells that fix damaged tissue When it s out of whack, these damaged spots fester, and you re left with chronic inflammation This is why, if you re over fifty, your blood will be tested for C reactive proteins as part of your standard physical These proteins are a sign of chronic Alzheimer s Exercise brings the immune system back into equilibrium so it can sop inflammation and combat disease 7 It fortifies your bones Osteoporosis doesn t have much to do with the brain, but it s important to mention because you need a strong carriage to continue exercising as you age, and it is a largely preventable disease Osteoporosis afflicts twenty million women and two million men in this country More women every year die from hip fractures a vulnerability of osteoporosis than from breast cancer Women reach peak bone mass at around thirty, and after that they lose about 1 percent a year until menopause, when the pace doubles The result is that by age sixty, about 30 percent of a woman s bone mass has disappeared Unless, that is, she takes calcium and vitamin D which comes free with ten minutes of morning sun a day and does some form of exercise or strength training to stress the bones Walking doesn t quite do the job save that for later in life But as a young adult, weight training or any sport that involves running or jumping will counteract the natural loss the degree to which you can prevent the loss is impressive one study found that women can double their leg strength in just a few months of weight training Even women in their nineties can improve their strength and prevent this heartbreaking disease 8 It boosts motivation The road to successful aging really begins with desire, because without the desire to stay engaged and active ad alive, people quickly fall into the death trap of being sedentary and solitary One of the problems of getting older is the lack of challenges, but with exercise we can continually improve and push ourselves Exercise counteracts the natural decline of dopamine, the key neurotransmitter in the motivation and motor systems When you move, you re inherently boosting motivation by strengthening the connections between dopamine neurons, while at the same time guarding against Parkinson s This really underscores the idea that if you re not busy living, your body will be busy dying It s important to have plans and goals and appointments, and this is why sports such as golf and tennis are great They require constant self monitoring and the motivation to improve 9 It fosters neuroplasticity The best way to guard against neurodegenerative diseases is to build a strong brain Aerobic exercise accomplishes this by strengthening connections between your brain cells, creatingsynapses to expand the web of connections, and spurring newly born stem cells to divide and become functional neurons in the hippocampus Moving the body keeps the brain growing by elevating the supply of neurotrophic factors necessary for neuroplasticity and neurogenesis, which should otherwise naturally diminish with age Contracting your muscles releases factors such as VEGF, FGF 2, and IGF 1 that make their way from the body into the brain and aid in the process All these structural changes improve your brain s ability to learn and remember, execute higher thought processes, and manage your emotions Therobust the connections, the better prepared your brain will be to handle and damage it might experience I don t think it s necessary to understand what all those terms mean, but if they bother you it s possible to Google them in most cases.The following quote is about the relationship between exercise and dementia.Population studies support the evidence that exercise holds off dementia In one about 1500 people from Finland originally surveyed in the 1970s and again 21 years later when they were between 65 and 79 years old Those who had exercised at least twice a week were 50% less likely to have dementia What s particularly interesting is that the relationship between regular activity and the onset of dementia was evenpronounced among those carrying the ApoE4 gene The researchers suggest that one explanation might be that their brains neuro protective systems are naturally compromised by the gene variant making life style particularly important The bottom line is that all we can do at the present time is modify the environmental factors to get the best out of the whatever genes we have.My only disappointment with the book is that it doesn t say that writing long book reviews is good for the brain This book was well written and extremely persuasive It got me back into fitness again I m thankful. This book gets a bit repetitive after awhile I quit after reading about 3 4 of it , and the conclusions he drew from some of the research studies seemed to really be stretching what you could reasonably conclude from the actual results.But it did convince me that I had to start exercising after being pretty sedentary for the last 4 or 5 years And six months later, I m still convinced and still exercisingso I guess it had a bigger positive impact on my life than most things I read. Incredible read Everyone knows the benefits of exercise on the muscles and heart but now studies have discovered what it does to the brain, which is evenimpressive The last couple of years has had an explosion of Neuroscience books What is evenunbelievable is that the researchers have actually decided to share what they are discovering in a way anyone can understand instead of the typical closed circle of academia.To some extent the discoveries aren t surprising, but then it is al Incredible read Everyone knows the benefits of exercise on the muscles and heart but now studies have discovered what it does to the brain, which is evenimpressive The last couple of years has had an explosion of Neuroscience books What is evenunbelievable is that the researchers have actually decided to share what they are discovering in a way anyone can understand instead of the typical closed circle of academia.To some extent the discoveries aren t surprising, but then it is always nice to actually have hard evidence for something many people just intuited With this book as well as a few others I have now adopted the paradigm of the baseline human body template being that of a stone age hunter gatherer In the stages of evolution of the human body and mind we spent most of our time in that time period, with our bodies being finely tuned to that lifestyle Now anytime we deviate too far from that active lifestyle and diet we start to experience the detrimental effects Our sedentary easy access to processed food lifestyles are in direct contradiction to what our bodies were optimized for hence all the multitude of obvious ailments plaguing the industrialized world.The latest studies have revealed1 Exercise helps produce the chemicals in the brain that grow new neurons in the brain, increasing our learning aptitude.2 Exercise regulates and balances the multitude of chemicals and hormones in our brain that directly affect our mood, specifically depression Cognitive therapy works on depression from the pre frontal cortex down, and anti depressant medication works from the brain stem up, exercise attacks depression from both the top and the bottom, as well as re wiring and re structuring the brain, causing long term changes.3 It helps people with ADHD improve their ability to focus 4 It helps anyone struggling with addiction to gain the strength, motivation to over come it.4 Women getfor less with exercise, it helps balance all the fluctuations brought on from the different cycles of hormone levels from menstruation, pregnancy, post postpartum, and menopause 5 It helps old people prevent Alzheimer s, dementia, osteoporosis As well as keeping their energy levels higher, improving their mood, and helping with their mental acuity.All in all, if there was one silver bullet that magically possessed all humans needed to thrive and be healthy both mentally and physically exercise would be it Our bodies and minds work best when they are moving To be fair, I skimmed this book for bits that were relevant to me I read chapter 3 Stress, very carefully It was a revelation to discover that the body actually creates glucose as part of the stress reaction, and shuts down cells from processing it so that it remains available for immediate energy, leftover from back when stress was always physical danger.All sorts of connections to my own health made One of the ways exercise optimizes energy usage is by triggering the production ofTo be fair, I skimmed this book for bits that were relevant to me I read chapter 3 Stress, very carefully It was a revelation to discover that the body actually creates glucose as part of the stress reaction, and shuts down cells from processing it so that it remains available for immediate energy, leftover from back when stress was always physical danger.All sorts of connections to my own health made One of the ways exercise optimizes energy usage is by triggering the production ofreceptors for insulin In the body, havingreceptors means better use of blood glucose and stronger cells Best of all, the receptors stay there, which means the newfound efficiency gets built in If you exercise regularly, and the population of insulin receptors increases if there is a drop in blood sugar or blood flow, the cell will still be able to squeeze enough glucose out of the bloodstream to keep working Also, exercise increases IGF 1, which helps insulin manage glucose levels If you re the kind of person who needs to be intellectually convinced by mountains of research to confirm something you already know as I am and you re trying desperately to start a regular exercise habit as I am you need to run and get this book, like, yesterday I m actually very serious I have a very athletic husband, who is the epitome of healthy living, as an example in front of me every day I ve read tons of articles about the benefits of exercise, and have known for practically If you re the kind of person who needs to be intellectually convinced by mountains of research to confirm something you already know as I am and you re trying desperately to start a regular exercise habit as I am you need to run and get this book, like, yesterday I m actually very serious I have a very athletic husband, who is the epitome of healthy living, as an example in front of me every day I ve read tons of articles about the benefits of exercise, and have known for practically my whole life the importance of getting my body moving But my mind resisted, and has just never really gotten with the program, so to speakBetween another book I ve read recently, about outwitting your resistant mind Mini Habits , and this book, which goes into fascinating detail about the importance of exercise for absolutely everyone, I think I m finally starting to be willing to drink the Koolaid I think the way Ratey has organized the book, with an opening about the life changing results of exercise for high school kids, to chapters discussing the advantages of exercise for many different conditions including anxiety, ADHD, depression, addiction, menopause and aging there is really something in here for everyone I could think of at least five family members, myself included, who could benefit from reading this book, and since every family has medical conditions that exercise could most certainly help, the information given here is worth reading by anyone who wants to be happier and, most importantly, healthier I m sold Very highly recommended A Groundbreaking And Fascinating Investigation Into The Transformative Effects Of Exercise On The Brain, From The Bestselling Author And Renowned Psychiatrist John J Ratey, MDDid 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 , 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 Oh my god According to this book I am a walking recipe for Alzheimer s disease This is a book by a Harvard psychiatrist about the link between mental health and exercise As life long depression sufferer with not one, but two parents who suffer ed from Alzheimer s, I m pretty much in the exponentially high risk category for dementia But there is hope, if I get off my ass and start exercising.The author covers, not only the brain physiology of exercise in relation to aging, depression, anxiety Oh my god According to this book I am a walking recipe for Alzheimer s disease This is a book by a Harvard psychiatrist about the link between mental health and exercise As life long depression sufferer with not one, but two parents who suffer ed from Alzheimer s, I m pretty much in the exponentially high risk category for dementia But there is hope, if I get off my ass and start exercising.The author covers, not only the brain physiology of exercise in relation to aging, depression, anxiety, ADHD and addictions, he also takes on the PE establishment you know, those dodgeball playing, drill sargeant, sadistic bastards we used to have as gym teachers The ones who coached the good athletes in their classes and pretty much ignored and or humiliated everyone else Apparently, there s a movement afoot to change the way gym is taught high time, I d say that actually encourages physical fitness What a concept.Anyway This is worth a read Where s the nearest gym This book is a review of much of the research that has been published in the past decade or so, on the subject of exercise s effects on the brain It is an absolutely first rate book I have read a lot about how exercise improves one s mood But I had not realized the many other benefits to one s brain, intelligence, memory, problem solving, that are induced by exercise The very first chapter describes how a strong school exercise program has benefited an entire school district Exercise can ac This book is a review of much of the research that has been published in the past decade or so, on the subject of exercise s effects on the brain It is an absolutely first rate book I have read a lot about how exercise improves one s mood But I had not realized the many other benefits to one s brain, intelligence, memory, problem solving, that are induced by exercise The very first chapter describes how a strong school exercise program has benefited an entire school district Exercise can actually induce physical enhancements to the brain, for example, increase the volume of the hypothalamus by up to 30% This book is quite amazing highly recommended Must Read book At this modern age bad habits and laziness are killing people To save lives and have a healthy life exercise is must This book reveals the secret that exercise will strengthen our brain and body together People who are addicted to bad habits get addicted to it because they need the pleasure to overcome depression, anger, stress and pain This book tells us how to avoid bad habits and start exercising People who thinks that exercise is an additional work or burden should read Must Read book At this modern age bad habits and laziness are killing people To save lives and have a healthy life exercise is must This book reveals the secret that exercise will strengthen our brain and body together People who are addicted to bad habits get addicted to it because they need the pleasure to overcome depression, anger, stress and pain This book tells us how to avoid bad habits and start exercising People who thinks that exercise is an additional work or burden should read this book and understand the importance of exercise and how it can change their life Physical activities change biological reaction in the body People who do regular exercise stay on top on a country level which includes technology, sports, etc Exercise is a preventive medicine as well as an antidote Exercise particularly affects our executive function planning, organization, initiate or delay a response, consequence evaluation, learning from mistake, maintain the focus, working memory and it helps us to access the front part of the brain prefrontal cortex both right and left and increases the learning ability Author of book John J Ratey talks about a particular kind of Squat which helps to increase the learning ability by concentrating on prefrontal cortex.Pain is related to depression and exercise is an antidepressant Depression is defined by an absence of moving toward anything, and exercise is the way to divert those negative signals and trick the brain into coming out of hibernation.Inactivity kills muscles and brain however exercise helps our body to grow muscles, grow brain tissues and avoids aging.Learned the importance of mind body connection and the idiom Prevention is better than cure Author talks about different factors which plays a major role in our body.BDNF Brain Derived Neurotrophic FactorIGF 1 Insulin like Growth FactorFGF 2 Fibroblast Growth Factor VEGF Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor DBS Deep Brain StimulationECT ElectroConvulsive TherapyTMS Transcranial Magnetic StimulationPET Positron Emission tomographyADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity DisorderVTA Ventral Tegmental Area.DDAT Dyslexia, Dyspraxia Attention TreatmentDDR Dance Dance RevolutionLTP Long Time PotentiationLLPDD Late Luteal Phase Dysphoric DisorderCBT Cognitive Behavioral TherapyPMDD Premenstrual Dysphoric DisorderGAGA Glutamate and Gamma aminobutyric AcidEPDS Edinburgh Postnatal Depression ScaleHRT Hormone Replacement TherapyCDC Centers for Disease ControlThis books explains why it is good to maintain health as it helps us to stay away from disease and helps us to recover fast when affected with disease On the whole, Better Fitness Better Results Better Performance


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About the Author: John J. Ratey

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Spark book, this is one of the most wanted John J. Ratey author readers around the world.