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Reddit mentions of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

Sentiment score: 34
Reddit mentions: 61

We found 61 Reddit mentions of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. Here are the top ones.

Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain
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Found 61 comments on Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain:

u/savemejebus0 · 110 pointsr/AdviceAnimals

I can tell you from being an addict who was inches from death, your food addiction a in the same part of the brain as my drinking and I can tell you that I know exactly how you feel. Here is the hardest part for you to accept, and believe me, people around you will argue against it, most of how you got here was out of your control.

You most likely have issues in your brain. Because our "free will" and "you" exists in the brain, people like to conflate the two and associate malfunctions in the reward system to a lack of will power or personal responsibility. The very thing you make your choices with, your brain, is compromised.

I know something that has helped me, no wait, saved my life, and I just recently stumbled upon a book about it, exercise. Before you dismiss it and categorize yourself as someone who doesn't, or can't, exercise, read this book cover to cover. Get the audio book, listen to it on your down time.

If it is not the solution to your problems, I can guarantee you, it is the start to them. Do you want evidence? Read the book. Do you want research? Read the book. Do you want hope? Read the book.

You have to understand that you are fighting against the reward system in your brain. It will tell you things you have to ignore. I recommend exercise not because you mentioned overeating, but because you mentioned depression. The transformation in your body will just be an added bonus.

Of course, we don't all have the means, but therapy is #1. They will help you stay on course. When that malfunctioning part of your brain tells you one thing, your therapist will convinces you that it is a ruse fabricated by an imbalance of neurotransmitters. If you cannot afford one, it is up to you.

Every day. Commit to intense exercise every day. Zero excuse to miss. Not for your weight, for your brain. It is not the magic cure, but it is close. Good luck.

u/workingclassfinesser · 45 pointsr/college

Yeah studies have shown exercise improves learning ability and retention. On my phone right now but just google it, it’s a big thing now.

edit: https://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-Brain/dp/0316113514

u/Intra_Galactic · 22 pointsr/longevity
  • Exercise. “In SPARK, John J. Ratey, M.D., 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 19,000 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“. Source: https://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-Brain/dp/0316113514/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1522973939&sr=1-1&keywords=Spark%2C+The+Revolutionary+New+Science+of+Exercise+and+the+Brain

  • Eat a healthy diet and follow some of the practices taken from Blue Zones, which are populations that have an unusually high number of centenarians. Some key take-aways from studies blue zones (Source: https://www.amazon.com/product-reviews/1426216556/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_cmps_btm?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews):

  • Long-lived people live on a high-carb, low-fat, plant-based diet;
  • Long-lived people eat a lot of vegetables, including greens;
  • Whenever they can get it, long-lived populations eat a lot of fruit;
  • When animal products are consumed, it’s occasionally and in small amounts only;
  • Long-lived people had periods in their life when a lot less food was available and they had to survive on a very
    sparse, limited diet;
  • Long-lived people live in a sunny, warm climate;
  • Long-lived people consume beans in some form or another;
  • Nuts appear to be good for health;
  • The typical diet is very simple and many essentially eat the same simple foods every day
  • Quality food over variety is more important;
  • They had an active lifestyle and moved a lot
  • Many of them got 5 to 6 hours of moderate exercise per day;
  • Many of them loved to work and had a sense of purpose in life;
  • Many had large families;
  • None of them smoked or ate massive amounts of food.

  • Be a super-ager – “Which activities, if any, will increase your chances of remaining mentally sharp into old age? We’re still studying this question, but our best answer at the moment is: work hard at something. Many labs have observed that these critical brain regions increase in activity when people perform difficult tasks, whether the effort is physical or mental. You can therefore help keep these regions thick and healthy through vigorous exercise and bouts of strenuous mental effort.” Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/31/opinion/sunday/how-to-become-a-superager.html

  • Boost your microbiome by eating a diverse diet. “Diet is perhaps the biggest factor in shaping the composition of the microbiome,” he says. A study by University College Cork researchers published in Nature in 2012 followed 200 elderly people over the course of two years, as they transitioned into different environments such as nursing homes. The researchers found that their subjects’ health – frailty, cognition, and immune system – all correlated with their microbiome. From bacterial population alone, researchers could tell if a patient was a long-stay patient in a nursing home, or short-stay, or living in the general community. These changes were a direct reflection of their diet in these different environments. “A diverse diet gives you a diverse microbiome that gives you a better health outcome,” says Cryan. Source: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140221-can-gut-bugs-make-you-smarter

  • Have a healthy mind-set – don't ever succumb to the stereotypical mind set that getting older = decline. “To Langer, this was evidence that the biomedical model of the day — that the mind and the body are on separate tracks — was wrongheaded. The belief was that “the only way to get sick is through the introduction of a pathogen, and the only way to get well is to get rid of it,” she said, when we met at her office in Cambridge in December. She came to think that what people needed to heal themselves was a psychological “prime” — something that triggered the body to take curative measures all by itself. Gathering the older men together in New Hampshire, for what she would later refer to as a counterclockwise study, would be a way to test this premise. The men in the experimental group were told not merely to reminisce about this earlier era, but to inhabit it — to “make a psychological attempt to be the person they were 22 years ago,” she told me. “We have good reason to believe that if you are successful at this,” Langer told the men, “you will feel as you did in 1959.” From the time they walked through the doors, they were treated as if they were younger. The men were told that they would have to take their belongings upstairs themselves, even if they had to do it one shirt at a time. At the end of their stay, the men were tested again. On several measures, they outperformed a control group that came earlier to the monastery but didn’t imagine themselves back into the skin of their younger selves, though they were encouraged to reminisce. They were suppler, showed greater manual dexterity and sat taller — just as Langer had guessed. Perhaps most improbable, their sight improved. Independent judges said they looked younger. The experimental subjects, Langer told me, had “put their mind in an earlier time,” and their bodies went along for the ride.” Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/26/magazine/what-if-age-is-nothing-but-a-mind-set.html

  • Live a life that has meaning – or, in other words, have a personal mission statement in life. Strive to accomplish something or to help others. “It is the pursuit of meaning is what makes human beings uniquely human. By putting aside our selfish interests to serve someone or something larger than ourselves -- by devoting our lives to "giving" rather than "taking" -- we are not only expressing our fundamental humanity, but are also acknowledging that that there is more to the good life than the pursuit of simple happiness.” Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/01/theres-more-to-life-than-being-happy/266805/

  • Volunteer and help others. “Volunteering probably reduces mortality by a year and a half or possibly up to two years for people who are in their senior years,” says Stephen G. Post, a professor of preventive medicine at Stony Brook University School of Medicine and the author of The Hidden Gifts of Helping and Why Good Things Happen to Good People. “If you could put the benefits of helping others into a bottle and sell it, you could be a millionaire in a minute.” Source: https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Why+do+we+hesitate+to+help%3F-a0352848707

  • Do strength training – there is an association between muscular strength and mortality in men (2008). Source: https://www.bmj.com/content/2/4225/927.4

  • Have 1-2 drinks per day. Source: https://health.spectator.co.uk/the-great-alcohol-cover-up-how-public-health-bodies-hid-the-truth-about-drinking/
u/Berkamin · 20 pointsr/productivity

Understand the reason why you procrastinate. It is not about self control. This article breaks open the one of the biggest underlying reasons why people procrastinate:


People procrastinate as a way of regulating their mood. Something about their condition or about the task they are procrastinating is causing them discomfort that they might not even be able to articulate, and procrastinating is a way of dealing with that discomfort in the moment.

One possible way to deal with this (not this specific thing you're procrastinating on, but the big picture) is that you may need counseling or to do other things to help your health to overcome depression or whatever hidden discomfort is causing you to procrastinate. I myself found that when I did not sleep well, I was chronically tired and depressed, but I didn't recognize it, because I masked it with caffeine. Caffeine doesn't give you the missing motivation back. It just keeps you wide awake and not wanting to do the things you need motivation to do. In a lot of cases, insufficient sleep is a major contributor to depression and anxiety.

I fixed my sleep problem to a large extent, using a weighted blanket, sensory deprivation (ear plugs and eye mask when I sleep), black-out curtains, blue-blocker glasses in the evenings, "dark room mode" of Flux (a screen dimming app for MacOS), and red LED light bulbs to light my room at night so I would actually get sleepy. (Now I just need to fix the schedule of my sleep; it's a work in progress.) That really helped.

Exercise also helps address depression, way more than I understood. See the book titled "Spark: the revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain".

When I reduced my depressive symptoms and improved my sleep, I felt a lot less prone to procrastinating.

Another great book on how to improve yourself and overcome things like procrastination is "Atomic Habits". This is a fantastic book. It explains that self transformation and improvement is not about revolutionary changes, but about establishing habits that get you a little bit of improvement but keeps you on a consistent trajectory of improvement. There's a lot of great stuff in there about procrastination.

If you can't seem to read books all the way through (a problem I had), try listening to the audio book while commuting. This has made a huge difference in my life. I actually finish books that I start now that I use audio books.


Of the various things that motivate people, fear only goes so far. After a while, concern over possibly ruining your life won't motivate you. I know this first hand, because I've procrastinated to the point of harming myself, and knowing that harm would come didn't motivate me to act. There is a much more potent set of motivators, and this won't be easy, but you need to find these and figure out how to view your work through these.

The most potent motivators are purpose, passion, and joy. In the grand scheme of your life, you need to find your purpose, develop a passion, and cultivate joy. There's an old parable about three men laying bricks who are asked what they are doing. The first one says "I'm laying bricks". The second says "I'm building a church". The third says "I'm building the house of God." Of these three, who do you think will do his best work and persist when the going gets tough?—The one who sees a grand, transcendant purpose in every brick he lays.

If you can't find a purpose in the task you are doing, step back. Some folks do boring work that is not rewarding in and of itself, but their "why" is their family. That is their purpose, and to provide for their family, they keep on keeping on. If you don't have a family, make a promise to your future self, and make bettering yourself your purpose. And if that won't do, seriously search for other work to do that you can get a sense of purpose from. I've heard of people who weren't responsible, but who got a dog or some other pet that then gave them a purpose, because that pet gave them joy, and they wanted a good life for this pet they loved so much. These are the stories where someone rescues a dog, but really, the dog rescued them just as much as they rescued it. Love makes all the difference here.

Think of something you take delight in, something that brings you joy, and if what you are doing can be thought of in terms of serving and pursuing this thing that brings you joy, the motivation from your delight may be able to help you overcome that heavy unspoken weight of apathy that causes you to procrastinate.

u/dancingmanatee · 14 pointsr/writing

>Besides, some of the best writers only write well when either largely unhappy or severely inebriated.

This is horseshit. Here is what Stephen King, who struggled with massive drug and alcohol addictions, wrote in his book on that bullshit:

>The idea that the creative endeavor and mind-altering substances are entwined is one of the great pop-intellectual myths of our time. . . . Substance abusing writers are just substance abusers--common garden variety drunks and druggies, in other words. Any claims that the drugs and alcohol are necessary to dull a finer sensibility are just the usual self-serving bullshit. I've heard alcoholic snowplow drivers make the same claim, that they drink to still the demons.

A famous writer and homeless junkie look no different when passed out on the floor covered in vomit.

OP, check out /r/depression. Go talk to a doctor. I struggled with severe depression years ago and found that activity was key. Exercise has been vital for preventing my depression from coming back. Exercise is pretty much the best thing you could do for your brain ever.

u/biciklanto · 13 pointsr/bicycling

You may be interested in reading John Ratey's Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. He's clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard and I really enjoyed his book, which covers, among other things, the enormous impact exercise has on both mental health and creativity / academic potential.

Definitely worth a read.

u/sabat · 8 pointsr/Anxiety

There's a lot of scientific evidence for it—I did a quick google and found some stuff, although there are probably better explanations than what I found in a few seconds.

There was a study done in the past five years—at Yale IIRC—that indicated that exercise is equivalent to anti-depressant medication in treating depression.

Here is a psychologist being interviewed about what exercise does to the exerciser's mind.

Here, the American Psychological Association (APA) explains that exercise improves the brain's ability to handle stress, which in turn should reduce anxiety.

There's no cure-all; the one thing you need to do is actually a lot of things that will work together in a perfect storm to reduce and possibly eliminate your anxiety.

About exercise:

  • don't worry about whether you feel a "runner's high"—it usually does come, but after at least several weeks of training

  • what you are after is not only an endorphin rush; exercise is being shown to actually change the structure of the brain in positive ways, not the least of which is to be more resilient and less prone to anxiety

  • if your pulse seems too high, slow it down. Remember, you're not out there to prove you're Superman/Superwoman. Speed and endurance will come; think of your mind/body as an engine that you're working on. You need to build it up before it's ready to race.

  • Exercise is not punishment. Too many people get the idea that running/exercise is a way to do penance for bad behavior. You're out there to do good to yourself because you deserve it.

    I got a lot out of this layman's book about the effects of exercise on the brain (based science from the past 10-20 years); you may want to look at it.

    PS: I found this interesting article in The Atlantic about exercise and depression as well; looks pretty good, and it's from last year.

    edit: grammar
u/jesses_girl · 7 pointsr/running

I have no firsthand experience but I just read this book called Spark: https://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-Brain/dp/0316113514

In it the author argues strongly that 1) exercise is essential and 2) it changes your brain chemistry and form and 3) it helps many mental illnesses.

It's genuinely a fascinating book and I highly recommend it!

u/mike_d85 · 7 pointsr/running

I read a great book called Spark that goes into the details of this.


Exercise regulates the mood hormones and has been effectively used as a treatment for depression. IIRC he devotes an entire chapter to depression in the book (though it might have been a shared chapter on mood disorders). Super interesting stuff and there's also a lot of info on Alzheimer, anxiety, and a bunch of other neurological conditions affected by exercise.

u/arera · 6 pointsr/portugal

Eu acho que o programa de educação física devia ser alterado. Exercício fisico é absolutamente crucial para um estudante. Li recentemente o livro "Spark" (http://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-Brain/dp/0316113514/ref=sr_1_3/177-6089882-2280667?ie=UTF8&qid=1420361932&sr=8-3&keywords=spark) e tenho também estado atento aos vários estudos que provam que praticar exercício físico é das melhores coisas que alguem pode fazer.

Dito isto, o plano actual de educação física baseia-se em dança e vários desportos. Acho que todos ganhavamos se em educação fisica se aprendesse fitness e apresentasse vários estudos do efeito do fitness em transtornos tipo OCD, ansiedade, depressão e também os seus efeitos na concetração, circulação sanguinea e em doenças mais específicas.

Exercício Físico é a chave para uma população mais saudável.

u/spartandudehsld · 5 pointsr/todayilearned

Read Spark (here on Amazon). It really breaks down the awesome benefits of exercise on a vast array of mental benefits. It does discuss depression and it is more dependant on the person, but exercise and medication is a powerful combination which he works toward getting the patients to just exercise.

u/august4th2026 · 5 pointsr/Anxiety

This is based on the information you have been cleared by a doctor that your heart function is normal. Exercise and anxiety have the same physical symptoms in terms of how your heart responds. That is why it scares you. Exercise feels like anxiety in your body but it isn't. In fact, exercise is the anti-anxiety. Reference a book by a neurologist who shows how exercise rewires your brain https://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-Brain/dp/0316113514

I have had GAD since I was 15. Years of cycling has taught me how my body feels under physical stress and it actually relives mental stress. I ride 8,000 miles a year, no panic attacks and no meds. I'm not saying exercise will eliminate all your anxiety but it won't hurt. Mindfulness meditation also helped me.

If you are healthy and according to your doctor you are, try exercising and when your panic hits, intellectually override your feelings and push onwards - you will find out nothing will happen and you will teach yourself how your body feels and feelings are not scary. Wear yourself out. Your anxiety will lessen when your exhaust yourself.

Research what exercise can do for anxiety and depression. The results are backed by numerous scientific studies.

u/anankastic · 5 pointsr/science

There's an entire book on this topic of exercise and the way it affects our brain: http://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-Brain/dp/0316113514/

It seems like we have a lot of pedantic individuals in this thread who like to trash-talk studies without even considering the possibility that they may have some merit.

u/ArticSun · 5 pointsr/changemyview

>Of course, there is a delayed reward from books and TV- the book is in my mind forever, has given me new insight in the world, entertained me and made me think about things (if it's good).

Sorry, I don't think I explained myself well. When I mean delayed reward I mean that I can stay up all night watching It's always sunny, reading wealth poverty and politics, or playing Xbox. Because it isn't difficult I am always 100% enjoying, with working out you face a large lack of motivation to get to or stay at the gym and while you could play Xbox for 4 hours you wouldn't be able or want to be doing hill sprints for that long. Only once you finish your workout do you feel good about it. Same thing with a job or grades, working and studying suck but that promotion or A is awesome.

>There is no delayed reward from exercise- as soon as you stop doing it, you lose the benefits.

As for future benefits yeah tv shows books and documentaries are great for culture, conversation, and insight. As for working out, I mean there are countless studies about how working out benefits you in the long-run physically and mentally. Here is a book that goes into it

>But your "dedication, drive, passion" is for something that only benefits you, and you do for selfish reasons. Same as my leisure time activities.

Yes, I love to see progress in my body for sure this is a strong feedback mechanism, the same after you read a book and introduce new information to a friend. But, it doesn't just benefit me, it benefits everyone I interact with their is a noticeable change in personality between before and after I exercise or if I took a day or two off. It benefits me SO in regards to the physical relationship. I also feel a responsibility if society will absorb any health insurance costs.

u/betaray · 5 pointsr/Nootropics

The book "Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain" includes a lot of research that describes benefits to morning exercise.

u/Sherlockian_Holmes · 4 pointsr/Nootropics

I've just ordered the book Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain hoping to get some answers to exactly that question.

What exercise, how much and what benefits are shown? I was rather surprised the other day, when I saw that a meta-analysis about prescription stimulants and cognitive performance compared the enhancement from said stimulants (effect size: small) with exercise, and quoted this meta-analysis.

>e.g., physical exercise, the cognitive effects of which have been found to be similarly small; see Chang, Labban, Gapin, & Etnier, 2012, for a meta-analysis.

Full reference >[Chang, Y. K., Labban, J. D., Gapin, J. I., & Etnier, J. L. (2012). The effects of acute exercise on cognitive performance: A meta-analysis. Brain Research, 1453, 87–101]

I haven't had time to look it up and investigate it yet - but, I must say, it's rather disheartening if the effect size is "similarly small" for exercise. I honestly thought it had quite drastic effects on cognitive performance.

We'll see how (if it does) the book differs in contention.



I grabbed some interesting meta-analyses' for you that may be of your interest:

> Roig, M., et al. (2013). "The effects of cardiovascular exercise on human memory: A review with meta-analysis." Neurosci Biobehav Rev 37(8): 1645-1666.

EXCERPT: "Data from 29 and 21 studies including acute and long-term cardiovascular interventions were retrieved. Meta-analyses revealed that acute exercise had moderate (SMD=0.26; 95% CI=0.03, 0.49; p=0.03; N=22) whereas long-term had small (SMD=0.15; 95% CI=0.02, 0.27; p=0.02; N=37) effects on short-term memory. In contrast, acute exercise showed moderate to large (SMD=0.52; 95% CI=0.28, 0.75; p<0.0001; N=20) whereas long-term exercise had insignificant effects (SMD=0.07; 95% CI=-0.13, 0.26; p=0.51; N=22) on long-term memory.... Strategically combined, acute and long-term interventions could maximize the benefits of cardiovascular exercise on memory."

>Verburgh, L., et al. (2013). "Physical exercise and executive functions in preadolescent children, adolescents and young adults: a meta-analysis." Br J Sports Med.

EXCERPT: "Results suggest that acute physical exercise enhances executive functioning. The number of studies on chronic physical exercise is limited and it should be investigated whether chronic physical exercise shows effects on executive functions comparable to acute physical exercise. This is highly relevant in preadolescent children and adolescents, given the importance of well-developed executive functions for daily life functioning and the current increase in sedentary behaviour in these age groups."


A review article that may also be interesting to read called Reviewing on physical exercise and the cognitive function.

I haven't looked for a comparative study re: exercise vs. nutraceuticals/meditation - but that would definitely be interesting to see, so do tell if you find something relevant and share it!

u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/Fitness

Strength Training Anatomy for edutainment (although his other books are not great). I agree about Kilgore's FIT.
Spark for motivation.

Also you might like this which I think was posted here previously, although I have no idea who curated it or how.

u/monkeybeast55 · 3 pointsr/stopsmoking

Science-wise, smoking is clearly damaging to the brain, and causes problems in the long run, whatever your self perception.

But it is both a stimulant, and a depressant... a form of medication. You have to learn to get the same effect without it. I recommend listening to music from India with headphones, and good English black tea, not over-steeped. And make sure you're developing your cardiovascular abilities... more oxygen to the brain.


u/thetheologicaleffect · 3 pointsr/ADHD

The two most common tips that I regularly see are Exercise and Meditation.

John Ratey says in Spark that 30 minutes of moderate exercise is best for women with ADHD (he recommends 15 minutes of intense exercise for men)

Meditation can help build up practices to help you build good practices. Dan Harris's new book would probably be a good start. I listened to 10% Happier and found it to be good. You can also listen to him on the 10% Happier Podcast.

That's at least for starters.

Give it some time for the medication to start working before trying much else. I use a couple of supplements through the advice I found on examine.com but I would recommend giving yourself a few months before speaking to your doctor before looking into supplements.

From there it depends on what you struggle with. There are a lot of things to try but just try a few at a time. I've tried doing everything at once and had it all crash down in front of me.

u/skacey · 3 pointsr/Ethics

Yes, very much so. Exercise has many many benefits for both your body and mind. There is an excellent book on these benefits called Spark that delves into some of the brain benefits and mood elevating effects of exercise.

Anecdotally I have found that many adventure sports enthusiasts believe in helping their fellow athletes as an ethical imperative. Many races emphasize this as a key aspect of the event.

  • The Tough Mudder Oath emphasizes teamwork over competitiveness, encouraging participants to put the needs of others over their own accomplishments.

  • The Ragnar Relay challenges teams of 12 to work together to run 200 miles. Far more than most amateur athletes can do on their own.

  • The GoRuck Challenge emphasizes that "It's not about you", forcing teams to work together towards a common goal.

    Each of these events are wildly popular and attract people from varying backgrounds.
u/mdgd · 3 pointsr/ADHD

Another parallel story here – law school, smart, lack of progress, etc.

Diagnosed with depression at 35. Once treatment had me somewhat stabilized, I started reading up on depression and mental health. (lifelong habit: must learn all the things. right now. unless required by school or job.)

Anyway, that eventually had me reading Spark by John Ratey (co-author of Driven to Distraction). I was reading for the chapter on depression, and found I related to it quite well. But then I skimmed through the rest, and got to the chapter on ADHD...and was stunned. It was so clearly me. Then started reading all the things on ADHD to make sure I wasn't out to lunch, and made an appointment to see my doc.

Doc talked to me for about 20 minutes, asked a whole bunch of questions, then sent me home with a questionnaire to complete and send back to him. Did that and went back for a follow-up, which was more questions. Ended with confirmation of what I'd known since the day I hit that chapter in Spark.

Now I'd say I'm doing okay – awareness and Adderall are both helping, but it's a long road. I'm confident my career (in particular) would have had a different trajectory if I'd been diagnosed years ago, but I'm still in an okay spot. I've also been able to see how my ADHD has affected me as a spouse and parent – and I'm trying to find ways to be better at both.

u/cayneabel · 3 pointsr/getdisciplined

Exercise. Helped my depression and anxiety better than anything else.

And not just a couple of miles a week. I mean intense exercise. (I prefer barbell training.)

Try taking up a martial art. The best type of physical activity for improving cognitive function is that which is both physically and mentally challenging.

I recommend skimming through this book:

u/ChinchillaxDOTcom · 3 pointsr/MyLittleSupportGroup

Just take it one day at a time. I know living away from home for the first time can be scary, but you've made it this far and you can do this!

It's natural to wonder if you've made the correct choice, but try to take comfort in following the choices you have made so far. Just follow through with those choices. Going to school is almost always the correct decision to do, and since you left to go to school you're on the right path.

Just focus on your education and learn as much as you can in your classes. Get help from the professors or Teaching Assistants. Your college may even have free therapists if you want to get specific help. Be aware of all the perks you get as a college student.

Over the next few weeks you'll be establishing new routines and habits as you adapt to this new environment. It's going to be new and uncomfortable at first, but you will get used to it. I recommend exercise as a habit because it can be as effective as medication for keeping stress under control.

I'd also suggest trying to make friends. It took me a long time in college before I finally found a friend or two I felt I could trust and be myself around, so I feel a little hypocritical giving this piece of advice. But having someone to talk to can be very helpful. Check out what clubs your school has, you're bound to find something that interests you. And if you go to any nerdy clubs (Sci-fi clubs, writing groups, anime clubs, video game clubs) you might be able to ask around and see if there are other Bronies around if those are the kinds of people you are looking for for friends.
You can also always call your parents, I'm sure they'd love to hear from you too as they are also dealing without having you around.

But don't sweat it, you can do this!

u/subtextual · 2 pointsr/Neuropsychology

How about John Ratey's Spark?

u/i_am_nk · 2 pointsr/Fitness

Exercise is a great tool to help in your battle against depression. I would ask that you read Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain as it will change the way you look at your own depression and treatments that you control, its $3.41 right now. With pills you get sort of a helpless feeling, that is, these pills will make me feel better it's out of my control. With exercise you are in control. You decide when you want to exercise and puts you back in the drivers seat. Along with the exercise comes better long term habits, from sleeping habits to nutritional habits.

u/Blahblahblah2063 · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

Sounds like it induces psychosis.

Exercise has a number of positive effects on the brain and psychological health, would definitely recommend it after an experience like that.

Fx see spark

u/JohnnyZampano · 2 pointsr/Meditation

I don't know of any books that combine the two, I kind of doubt there is.

The closet thing that comes to mind is: http://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-Brain/dp/0316113514/ref=sr_1_31?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1375234209&sr=1-31

I mean there are tons of books on meditation, and tons of books on yoga, but not about the two.

Yoga and insight meditation are pretty diverse activities. One trains the mind, the other the body and somewhat the mind. You can use meditation to strengthen your yoga practice by training your mind to be in the moment and focus more on the body. Yoga makes you more limber to be able to sit longer and perhaps focus more on the body in meditation.

I'll be interested to read any such books if someone does post them.

u/Melete777 · 2 pointsr/depressionregimens

Muscle tissue actually generates a lot of chemicals on its own, and a bunch of those chemicals are important for mood and sleep.

Great book on the subject:


u/whatsahobby · 2 pointsr/xxfitness

I agree that of course you should do the type of exercise that you really enjoy. But in case you want more than that, the research that exists in this area and supports that idea that exercise can be a helpful treatment is mostly about aerobic exercise like walking/running/cycling. But that could just mean researchers haven't looked into strength training as much, not necessarily that it isn't as good.
Maybe more helpful is that research indicates that high levels of exercise (defined in the study as burning around 8 calories per pound over the course of multiple exercise sessions in a week) creates the largest decrease in depression symptoms. So I would say do whatever exercise you enjoy and mets your goals that gets you to that level.

Source is the book Spark: Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

u/odbjd6 · 2 pointsr/ADHD

I've always thought this was the best way to curb my ADD along with medicine and if anyone is interested there is an amazing book written by a physician about this subject! Helped me understand a lot: https://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-Brain/dp/0316113514

u/5http · 2 pointsr/ADHD

This book touches on some of the points mentioned in other comments, and illustrates the connection between morning exercise and better emotional and cognitive function. It's worth a read or listen if you do audio books!

u/leaderxyz · 2 pointsr/Entrepreneur

Great health is definitely vital to performing well with your job. If you’re mentally and physically in great shape then high performance naturally follows. Look to perfect these foundations: Sleep, Diet, Exercise, Mental health and Productivity.

For sleep, make sure you’re getting around 8 hours of ideally uninterrupted sleep a day.

For diet, there are many great ones around, the ketogenic diet is very healthy and good for energy.

For exercise, read this book (it’s not mine). Perfect for enhancing performance through exercise: https://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-Brain/dp/0316113514/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1485969714&sr=8-2&keywords=spark

For mental health, a nutritious diet goes a long way. Mindful meditation for 20 minutes a day is life changing for a lot of people (research it if you don’t believe me). Also, personal improvement blogs and books have helped me a lot to cultivate a successful mindset, Steve Pavlina has a great blog.

For productivity, the reason I mention this is due to the fact we have limited energy and time each day. By maximizing our productivity we can most effectively use our limited daily resources. Shorter work days may actually lead to more work being done in the long run for example, 7 hours a day 5 days a week is my sweet spot but you may differ so do your research. Working long hours is admirable but in the long-term it can hurt your health and work, working smart is what you should aim for.

Hopefully this helps you out.

u/GlobbyDoodle · 2 pointsr/ADHD

Read Spark by John Ratey. He outlines exactly the issues that you are talking about.

It's true that it is harder to concentrate the day after exercising vigorously. Your body is tired! Try exercising more consistently, but less vigorously.

u/jankerator · 2 pointsr/ADHD

Ha! I was just about to do a very similar post.

Here's a list of things I've figured out over the years (I'm 43), in no particular order, natch. They're not all exactly steps or how to's, some are more things to regularly consider (actions eminate from thoughts).

  1. Make lists: I still do paper lists, but using things like evernote, onenote, and keep, are invaluable for capturing ideas and staying organized. Sometimes I don't even need the lists I make, just the act of writing it down or capturing it helps me chill out and refreshes what I need to get done. Or get at the store (crap, forgot catfood again).

  2. Calendar: Having a smartphone is such a huge help, put everything in there, appointments, birthdays, reminders. Practice remembering, and you won't always need it, but it's there if you do. I mean, garbage day is always friday for me, but why don't you guess how many times my phone has gone off Thursday night and I'm like, "oh yea".

  3. Take it easy on yourself: Beating yourself up about forgetting things or spacing out is waste of time, damaging, and flat-out holding you back. I'm not saying be all laissez-faire about it, but don't make your situation worse with a bunch of negativity. I mean, if it worked there wouldn't be any issues, would there? I don't know how many times I've torn myself apart for forgetting something, yet again. It took me a long time to realize that that emotional nonsense was actually making it harder to accomplish what I was trying to do. Be nice to yourself.

  4. Refocus: Every so often bring yourself back to the Here and Now, check the time, clear your mind, ask yourself "what am I thinking about" "what am I doing". This is one of the most useful things I've ever figured out how to do. Inner space is infinite and not always pleasant, if you'e got an active and vivid imagination it's not too hard to end up more than a couple dimensions over from reality. Developing the ability to slip out of the flow is a huge help for course corrections. It's not easy, but it's awesome. The benifits of mindfulness meditation are legion. Like while writing this post, I've snapped myself out of revery several times and gotten back to my paying job. See #3 above!

  5. Double, Triple check: When you hear or read something, ask yourself, did that stick? It might feel like the info landed, but did it? Repeat your understanding back to the person your talking to, or ask yourself what it was you just read. I do this all the time at work, after a conversation or meeting I'll quickly go over my understanding to make sure it's clear (often with the aid of notes). "So RTM has slipped another 2 weeks which puts it behind the hotfix. We need to drop our current pass and spin up hotfix testing." Or "Wait a sec, before I go all the way to the lab, do I remember what rack that was in?"

  6. Exercise: The benefits from 20 minutes of cardio every day are redonkulous. Check out Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain for the details, science, and some inspirational stories. It was written by phsychiatrist John J. Ratey, one of the authors of "Driven to Distraction'. Seriously, getting a run in for me is such good medicine, it clears the head, and destresses me. If I get off my ass and get a workout in first thing, I am on for the day.

  7. Nutrition: We all know this one. What you put in your body affects your chemistry. Not just what, but when as well. There's a lot of ADHD management programs out there that focus on nutrition, avoiding certian foods, increasing others, taking supplements. Stack the deck in your favor. If I don't keep myself fed and get too hungry (anyone else forget to eat?), I get pretty useless and cranky until I gnosh.

  8. Watch your manners: I don't know what else to say about this. "It's 11pm, should I really call my buddy?" "Oooh, I saw the movie they're talking about, should I go over what I thought of it?" "Why is this guy taking so long to get to his point, I get it. Should I tell him where he's going?" "I really really want to ask her a question, should I ask now?" Paying attention to manners can avoid and relive SOOO many issues. I've found asking and apologizing works very well. "Excuse me, sorry to bug you, but..." "I'm sorry to intrude, I had some questions, is this a good time?" "I'm sorry, I didn't catch what you just said." I've found that even if you are spacing out or barging in, if you own that fact and mention it, people really appreciate it. Like after I hear my name for the 3rd? time, "Yes! Sorry, I was really into that. Whats up?" Just imagine someone doing what you do, to you. Good god, it's worth it.

  9. Organize, Routine, schedule, Habit (structure): It's much easier to find things if there's a known place for them, and it's much easier to go about the day if it's already more or less planned out. Study at a certian time, do laundry on a certian day, keep the tools in a toolbox in a certian place. (Shower, pills, breakfast, shower, pills, breakfast, shower pills, breakfast) Build up useful habits, if you make things a habit, you don't need to remember. Put your keys in the same place everytime (my wallet and keys never leave my pocket, my phones in only a couple places). It's a bitch to get started, but don't give up and it'll stick. My wife is always losing her keys, coat, purse, glasses, and I'm like, "just put them in the same place", and she's like, "I'm not like you!" ORLY? :P "Maybe your not as bad but it just works for everyone". Try something, anything, because if you don't, it WILL just be chaos.

  10. Follow through: If you start something, finish it. If you say it, do it. Making myself follow through on projects I've started, but have lost interest in, has really tempered my tendancy to just jump in, and there's an extra sense of accomplishment when it's just done. I grew up in a very flakey family, my step-dad would leave me stranded for hours after basketball practice (this was in the late 80's noone had cell phones), or make grandiose, exciting plans only to completely flake or make excuses. So for me, being on time or meeting a commitment I made to someone comes pretty easily.
u/DiscordDuck · 2 pointsr/stopdrinking

Thanks for this post.

I just bought a treadmill this summer to help get back into regular exercise.

I read a book called Spark a couple of years ago which has some really cool info about what exercise does for the brain.

u/MarauderShields618 · 1 pointr/ADHD

I have always struggled with sleep problems, try talking to a sleep doctor. If the doctor finds that you have a sleep disorder, that is covered by the ADA since sleep is a major life activity. Your employer must make a reasonable accommodation like flexible work hours or later shifts. (Just keep in mind that reasonable accommodation for one business may be prohibitive for another.)

I've struggled with sleep issues my whole life, too. I went to a doctor and these were her recommendations. I finally found a winning combination.

u/PotaToss · 1 pointr/Cubers

There's research that supports this:


u/duffstoic · 1 pointr/Fitness

Check out the book Spark which goes into the data on exercise and depression. The tl;dr is that aerobic exercise is as effective as anti-depressants in clinical trials.

But I'd also include some CBT (especially the book The Feeling Good Handbook), and some mindfulness meditation, both of which have also proven helpful in treating depression, and can be done for free on your own.

u/tofu_cannibal · 1 pointr/running

OP, if you want to read about the link between running (well, exercising) and mental health there's a book called Spark by Harvard psychiatrist John Ratey that's actually pretty good, definitely motivates you to get up and start working out.

u/PervertedStingrays · 1 pointr/NoFap

Do you take care of yourself, other than doing nofap.

Here is some tips, that have helped me.

  1. Eat a healthy diet. "Perfect health diet" is a good one. Also start looking into minerals and vitamins, they can have great combined with good nutrition.
    Socialanxietysupport.com has some good forumposts about vitamins/minerals that might be helpful:



    Also look into iodine, magnesium and b vitamins...

  2. clean your room, make your bed every morning.


  3. walk, run, lift weight, HIIT workout. Read the book "Spark" , if want to know more about the way exercise helps depression, anxiety, stress, memory,willpower and more.

  4. meditate, bioenergetics, yoga


    There is alot of other things that will help you, but this is a good start.

    Good luck dude
u/Debonaire_Death · 1 pointr/Nootropics

HIIT with plyometrics thrown in. It's what I do every day and it has upped my game in a big way.

Also, I can't find the research, but there are studies supporting the idea that increased demands on kinesthesia during intense exercise increases its neurogenic properties. it makes sense, since more complex activities would provide bloodflow to more parts of the brain, providing a more diffuse delivery of the different growth factors that get released by exercise.

If you are interested into learning more of the details of boosting your brain with exercise, the book Spark is a great place to start.

u/roland00 · 1 pointr/ADHD

You know there are two authors that cowrite the driven to distraction book series, a series that has been out since the early 1990s, and are they best selling ADHD books of all time and one of the things that made the general public take ADHD seriously. The two authors are Dr. Ned Hallowell and Dr. John Ratey, well Dr. John Ratey is a doctor who teaches as Harvard Medical School wrote a book in 2008 about a similar subject

  • Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

  • https://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-Brain/dp/0316113514

    There are 10 chapters overall, an introduction and a conclusion and he focuses on 8 subjects in the Spark Exercise book. Learning, Stress, Anxiety, Depression, ADHD ^(Chapter 6 so the 5th subject out of 8), Addiction, Hormonal Changes and Balancing, Aging
u/MihalyOnLife · 1 pointr/bjj

agg get oot bnow while u stil can

[dontt ende upo like me halp] (https://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-Brain/dp/0316113514)

u/josh2415 · 1 pointr/ADHD

The first thing I would recommend is watching all of these videos. They're dry..but necessary information.(Dr Russell A Barkley ADHD-The 30 Essential Ideas everyone needs to know) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzBixSjmbc8eFl6UX5_wWGP8i0mAs-cvY

If you haven't already, learn to separate the science of actual ADHD and the general perceptions that are out there and won't die. The reality of it is, ADHD is purely a wiring/brain issues based in the genes. Medicine is the only established treatment that works (there should be things that supplement the meds, organizational stuff, support structures, diet and exercise). The videos talk about all of them. My Dr is an adhd specialist, everything he's told me falls right in line with this. The internet, and unfortunately a lot of general MD's that don't specialize give a lot of the bad information that is constantly out there. Another interesting book in regards to excercise is: http://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-Brain/dp/0316113514
The author cowrote a best selling ADHD book.

For the record, I'm not saying it's impossible to manage adhd without meds. Plenty of people do. However, I'm under the impression it has to be "light" adhd and the people have to be disciplined. Most genuine ADHD cases need the meds as a starting point.

u/temporary_robot · 1 pointr/JordanPeterson

Exercise can cure the bad health caused by your drug and alcohol habit. It will give you a better sleep wake pattern. It will help you with self discipline and give you the resolve and energy to say no to drugs. Tired and sick-feeling people often have no self control. Exercise will alleviate most of your other health problems. Also, exercise literally makes you happy. it will make you smarter. This is well documented. If you want a book on the myriad benefits of exercise, check this out: https://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-Brain/dp/0316113514

Exercise is about a lot more than just your specific health problem. It will help you look and feel more attractive and help you to stand up straight with your shoulders back. As someone with scoliosis, I know standing up straight with your shoulders back is nontrivial. Notably, it’s very hard to do if your muscles are deforming you. You need a strong core to be able to look your best. And you don‘t get a strong core without exercise.

If you can join a gym you can meet people. When you have more confidence people want to be around you and you can have friends. And when people want to be around you some of them want to be around you. Sexually. You‘re at rock bottom. Working on even one of the six things will help you with all others.

You‘re looking for excuses. It’s good you know you don‘t have these six things. Now it‘s time to do something. If you do nothing it won’t fall on your lap. Not good health. Not friends. Not a meaningful hobby. Not a good job. Not romance. Nothing. And in ten years you’ll be making the same post and maybe then your parents will be dead or incapacitated and can no longer give you your stipend, so you’ll have less than you do now. You’ll be ten years older. With none of the potential you have now. People will not be as forgiving of your empty resume in 10 years.

You’ll be more cynical and nihilistic and depressed. You’ll look worse (sorry aging tends to do that. Especially if you don’t exercise. There’s a saying in my culture: In youth, beauty is a gift from god. In old age, beauty is a lifetime of discipline and wisdom.) and less attractive. The unhappiness of your life will be etched on your face. Ever wonder why some old people just look ANGRY? It’s not because they are in the moment. It’s because their face got stuck that way after a lifetime of frowning and scowling. Young children will run away from you. And your body will hurt more. Nothing will get better if you don’t act. It all gets worse.

And what would be the point of that? To make a post complaining then letting 10 years go by? You don‘t have to join a gym. You can work on any of these things, though I think it‘s the easiest thing to do right now. Everything flows from good looks, good health and a happy countenance.

u/handsoffpenis · 1 pointr/NoFap

The running thing you are talking is real science


u/lapropriu · 1 pointr/Fitness

Yes. There's an entire chapter on it in Spark: the revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain.

Anecdotally, individual experiences vary. There have been a few threads on this over at /r/xxfitness.

u/minerva330 · 1 pointr/Fitness

I lean more towards the exercise science/journalism type reads in regard to health and fitness. Born to run was really good IMO. I also really enjoyed..

u/LocalAmazonBot · 1 pointr/Fitness

Here are some links for the product in the above comment for different countries:

Amazon Smile Link: Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain


To help donate money to charity, please have a look at this thread.

This bot is currently in testing so let me know what you think by voting (or commenting). The thread for feature requests can be found here.

u/XiaoShanA · 1 pointr/xxfitness

Hell to the Y to the E to the S. If past me had the opportunity to understand how I feel today and instantly transform my mind and body into what it is now by paying cash money, I would have shoveled my dollars over with a bulldozer.

I won't get into my issues, but they include a lifelong struggle with depression. Even though I am not on medication now, 90% of my days I wake up feeling pretty good. It used to be only 10% of my days I would feel better than "meh".

Biggest things for me were cutting out sugar and exercising. All that I have done has also come very cheaply. I started just cutting out sugary foods and cooking more. Eventually I ate keto. My fitness started with walking - just around my apartment at first, eventually around the neighborhood. Just from that, I lost a little over 10% of my weight, finally was able to have a regular sleep schedule, erased a lot of anxiety, and practically cured some nagging health conditions.

I think there is a lot of hype in the fitness, diet, and health industries that try to convince you that you need to spend a lot of money to be well, but so much can be done by yourself, at home. Just start small and keep adding good habits, and eventually you'll have a new lifestyle and a new mindset. And also, I think if you're not doing well physically or mentally, its can be better to add to your mindset and health than to add to your savings. If you're still able to at least save for the 401k, I think fixing your mental and physical health would be considered a good investment.

In the end, only you can decide what is best for you, but from my personal experience and what I've read on reddit of peoples' health transformations, I say hell yes to exercise.

I also recommend the book "Spark". It is in interesting examination of the science of exercise and mental health.

u/pastanomics · 1 pointr/books

Free your tastes from the cage of other people's opinions and pretensions. Try young adult fiction like Harry Potter and trashy romance novels. Try anything by E.L. Doctorow. Or try some nonfiction. Anything by Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Pinker...


u/-Chinchillax- · 1 pointr/books

Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall tells the really interesting stories of people who lived in Communist East Berlin.

Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain is the greatest book about Mental Health ever. It tells how exercise is one of the key factors in effecting mental health.

u/SAMSON_AITE · 1 pointr/loseit

You need to read this.

u/Apostrophe · 0 pointsr/JoeRogan

I think John Ratey would make a superb guest.

Rogan often encourages exercise and talks about the mental health benefits, but he struggles to articulate the actual scientific argument for the phenomenon. This man, Ratey, has written popular science books on the subject of exercise's effect on the brain and mental health - thus he would be a very good guest!

Everyone here should also be aware of his excellent book on the matter: Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

u/Nick315 · 0 pointsr/relationship_advice

And you could appeal to his sense of science or self improvement with this e-book, "Spark". "...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."

u/FoxJitter · 0 pointsr/Fitness

I just finished Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey, MD. I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned quite a bit.