Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I saw this mentioned by Frank Forencich and it looks interesting, so I ordered the book (extract here).

The author's blog has some nice stuff.

In Spark, John J. Ratey, MD, takes the listener on a fascinating journey through the mind-body connection, presenting startling new research to prove that exercise is truly the best defense against everything from mood disorders to ADHD to addiction to menopause to Alzheimer's. He explains that the brain works just as muscles do-growing with use, withering with inactivity-and shows why getting your heart and lungs pumping can mean the difference between a calm, focused mind and a harried, inattentive self.
Anyway it ties in with some of the ideas that I was thinking of after speaking to mc. It fits in with Kelly Lambert's ideas too.

Here is how Frank applies the comes down to moving being healthy.

"SPARK" your brain with Exuberant Animal from Lauren Muney on Vimeo.


meredith said...

I posted about this book a few months ago too. I really liked it, especially as I am a mother trying to school my three year old.

Here's the link.

Rannoch Donald said...

Chris, have been reading Ratey's blog for a while but not read the book. Think I might pick it up. As I get older I get more interested in the mental aspects. Anything to keep the gray matter ticking!


Bill D said...

Read this about a year ago.
The single best argument for including a "cardio" portion in one's workout, one that the "one right way" crowd misses.
Data aside,the gist of his book is that running, swimming, etc. benefits creativity, concentration, mood, other brain aspects, more so than weight training and stretching, due to the increased blood flow to the brain. He doesn't devalue weight training/yoga/stretching, just draws a distinction between benefits. Increased heart rate alone, such as from blood pooling during weight training, isn't enough; there has to be the steady increased flow.
This is almost an intuitive reaction to the "weights only" or "yoga only" approach, but Ratey provides the data.
As usual, fine job with the blog.
Bill DeSimone (moment arm guy)

Chad said...

I apply it to olympic lifts, and other complex motor skills. If the same hormones are released during learning motor skills as they are while learning math, or playing the piano, then lifting and moving makes us smarter!

Chris said...


Thanks for dropping by. I keep re-reading your book. Each time I understand things a little better and I am applying the principles. it is actually quite simple but I am now appreciating the depth of your first few chapters to give the context.....

i think I am pretty well convinced by the HIT approach - brief infrequent workouts. The trouble is I like to exercise more often! Movement is fun. I am looking forward to reading the book when it comes.