Found 17 comments on HN
ajarmst · 2016-12-11 · Original thread
Adding a plug for Ratey's book "Spark" (https://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-...) which is a pretty good lay introduction to a lot of the research on cognition and exercise as well as exercise's role in ameliorating depression, anxiety, stress response, and some neurological deficits. Recommended by my physician. Turns out the wonder drug we were looking for might have been "take a lap".
espeed · 2016-06-29 · Original thread
John Ratey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Ratey), the professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School who wrote Driven to Distration, recently published a book called "Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain" (http://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-B...).

Spark details how high-intensity cardio (like sprints or interval training) put your brain chemicals in balance in part by generating BDNF (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain-derived_neurotrophic_fact...), which as Ratey describes, it's like "Miracle-gro" for the brain.

Last year my stress levels were getting out of control from working too much. At the time I was running at least two miles every day so it's not like I wasn't exercising. But then one day I changed from running a couple miles to running 50-yard sprints, as fast and as hard as I could push myself. The first day I only ran four sprints, but I felt euphoric the rest of the day -- the best I had felt in years. So I tried it again a couple days later, and sure enough it worked again -- I felt amazing.

So then I had to find out why this worked -- why a few sprints were so much more effective than running several miles. I started Googling and eventually found Ratey's book -- it explains the entire biochemical process of what's going on and why sprinting works.

It's an eye-opening read. Each chapter covers how high-intensity cardio affects things like stress, anxiety, depression, ADHD. I have ADHD but haven't taken anything for it in years (since I was in college), and I can attest that sprints not only fixed by stress levels, but my ADHD symptoms were almost non existent.

Here's a key point that Ratey makes throughout the book that completely changed my perspective on things -- he says that instead of thinking of exercise as something you should do to look good and build a healthy body, you should instead think of exercise as the key to building a healthy brain:

"We all know that exercise makes us feel better, but most of us have no idea why. We assume its because we're burning off stress or reducing muscle tension or boosting endorphins, and we leave it at that. But the real reason we feel so good when we get our blood pumping is that it makes the brain function at its best" (http://www.sparkinglife.org).

In the book's introduction he goes on to say, "Building muscles and conditioning the heart and lungs are essentially side effects. I often tell my patients that the point of exercise is to build and condition the brain."

In fact the brain exercise routine he recommends is similar to a weight workout routine, in that you have to push yourself hard one day, and then take a day off to let your brain recover, just like in weight training. Another key is when you sprint, always put everything you have into it. Run as fast and as hard as you can so you are constantly pushing your body and your brain past their limitations -- this is the key to growth.

Reposted from: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5323019 (2013)

Also see: "How exercise boosts brain health" (http://www.kurzweilai.net/how-exercise-boosts-brain-health)

abledon · 2015-11-20 · Original thread
Yup, one of the premises of this book: http://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-B...

Its also humorous to note that the in many schools of Chinese Yoga (Qi-Gong) and Tai Chi, the first pose given is a horse stance. Where you simply stand and relax into the bone structure of your body, then continue for hours on end, (for sometimes many years with this single pose depending on the student).

walterbell · 2015-05-03 · Original thread
Short video interview with Branson on dyslexia (and the difference between "net" and "gross"), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpvF5xCQ7s8

HBO 2013 documentary on dyslexia, with Charles Schwab & Richard Branson: http://www.amazon.com/The-Big-Picture-Rethinking-Dyslexia/dp...

Books with behavioral strategies:

Organizing for the Creative Person, http://www.amazon.com/Organizing-Creative-Person-Right-Brain...

Neurodiversity, http://www.amazon.com/Neurodiversity-Discovering-Extraordina...

Learning to Learn, http://www.amazon.com/Learning-Learn-Rosemary-Bowler/dp/0684...

Learning Outside the Lines, http://www.amazon.com/Learning-Outside-Lines-Disabilities-Ed...

ADD Success Stories, http://www.amazon.com/ADD-Success-Stories-Fulfillment-Attent...

Spark (exercise), http://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-B...

kristofferR · 2015-04-10 · Original thread
The cheapest and safest "nootropic" there is is exercise.

Students dramastically improved their grades in several schools once they were made into exercising with a heart rate monitor (higher heart rate - higher grade) every day:

http://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-B...

guiambros · 2014-12-17 · Original thread
I think the "changes our DNA" is far fetched, but the link between exercise and the neurochemistry in the brain has been proved by multiple studies.

I've mentioned here before, but John J. Ratey recently wrote the excellent Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain[1], where he explains in colorful details what happens in (and to) the brain when you exercise.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-B...

guiambros · 2014-12-08 · Original thread
Spark, by John J. Ratey, one of the pioneers of studying ADHD and the impact of exercise on the brain.

http://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-B...

guiambros · 2014-11-02 · Original thread
It's sad that the article didn't even mention exercise as a potential treatment for ADHD. The OP implies that kids will simply "grow out" of ADHD, drugs, or changing the environment may be enough.

While these are valid solutions, exercise may be equally or even more effective.

John J. Ratey, one of the pioneers of ADHD [1], recently wrote the excellent Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain[2]. In it, he explains in colorful details what happens in the brain, and why exercise may be the best treatment for a bunch of neurochemical imbalances - including ADHD.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driven_to_Distraction_(ADHD)

[2] http://www.amazon.com/Spark-exercise-improve-performance-bra...

guiambros · 2014-10-02 · Original thread
I'm glad to see the article, but if you're interested in the effects of physical exercise over the brain in general - not only depression, but brain development, neuronal growth, memory retention, degenerative brain diseases - you should read "Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain" [1].

It's a great book, summarizing all the studies and discoveries around brain health and the link with body biochemistry and exercise over the past 50 years. Not the typical common wisdom of "exercise is good for you", but a more serious and deep analysis of why it is good, and what exactly it does to your brain, at a biochemical level.

As a person that always knew how much exercise is important for the body - but always hated exercising - this book gave a reason to pause and re-think my priorities.

If you care about your brain, read at least the sample chapters and see if you like it.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-B...

joncooper · 2014-09-29 · Original thread
John Ratey wrote several good books on ADD/ADHD as well as this one: _Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain_ http://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-B... - it is pretty good.
espeed · 2013-10-15 · Original thread
John Ratey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Ratey), the professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School who wrote Driven to Distration, recently published a book called Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain (http://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-B...).

Spark details how high-intensity cardio (like sprints or interval training) put your brain chemicals in balance in part by generating BDNF (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain-derived_neurotrophic_fact...), which as Ratey describes, it's like "Miracle-gro" for the brain.

Last year my stress levels were getting out of control from working too much. At the time I was running at least two miles every day so it's not like I wasn't exercising. But then one day I changed from running a couple miles to running 50-yard sprints, as fast and as hard as I could push myself. The first day I only ran four sprints, but I felt euphoric the rest of the day -- the best I had felt in years. So I tried it again a couple days later, and sure enough it worked again -- I felt amazing.

So then I had to find out why this worked -- why a few sprints were so much more effective than running several miles. I started Googling and eventually found Ratey's book -- it explains the entire biochemical process of what's going on and why sprinting works.

It's an eye-opening read. Each chapter covers how high-intensity cardio affects things like stress, anxiety, depression, ADHD. I have ADHD but haven't taken anything for it in years (since I was in college), and I can attest that sprints not only fixed by stress levels, but my ADHD symptoms were almost non existent.

Here's a key point that Ratey makes throughout the book that completely changed my perspective on things -- he says that instead of thinking of exercise as something you should do to look good and build a healthy body, you should instead think of exercise as the key to building a healthy brain: "We all know that exercise makes us feel better, but most of us have no idea why. We assume it’s because we’re burning off stress or reducing muscle tension or boosting endorphins, and we leave it at that. But the real reason we feel so good when we get our blood pumping is that it makes the brain function at its best" (http://www.sparkinglife.org).

In the book's introduction he goes on to say, "Building muscles and conditioning the heart and lungs are essentially side effects. I often tell my patients that the point of exercise is to build and condition the brain."

In fact the brain exercise routine he recommends is similar to a weight workout routine, in that you have to push yourself hard one day, and then take a day off to let your brain recover, just like in weight training. Another key is when you sprint, always put everything you have into it. Run as fast and as hard as you can so you are constantly pushing your body and your brain past their limitations -- this is the key to growth.

Reposted from: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5323019

espeed · 2013-03-05 · Original thread
You're absolutely right.

John Ratey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Ratey), the professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School who wrote Driven to Distration, recently published a book called Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain (http://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-B...).

Spark details how high-intensity cardio (like sprints or interval training) put your brain chemicals in balance in part by generating BDNF (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain-derived_neurotrophic_fact...), which as Ratey describes, it's like "Miracle-gro" for the brain.

Last year my stress levels were getting out of control from working too much. At the time I was running at least two miles every day so it's not like I wasn't exercising. But then one day I changed from running a couple miles to running 50-yard sprints, as fast and as hard as I could push myself. The first day I only ran four sprints, but I felt euphoric the rest of the day -- the best I had felt in years. So I tried it again a couple days later, and sure enough it worked again -- I felt amazing.

So then I had to find out why this worked -- why a few sprints were so much more effective than running several miles. I started Googling and eventually found Ratey's book -- it explains the entire biochemical process of what's going on and why sprinting works.

It's an eye-opening read. Each chapter covers how high-intensity cardio affects things like stress, anxiety, depression, ADHD. I have ADHD but haven't taken anything for it in years (since I was in college), and I can attest that sprints not only fixed by stress levels, but my ADHD symptoms were almost non existent.

Here's a key point that Ratey makes throughout the book that completely changed my perspective on things -- he says that instead of thinking of exercise as something you should do to look good and build a healthy body, you should instead think of exercise as the key to building a healthy brain:

"We all know that exercise makes us feel better, but most of us have no idea why. We assume it’s because we’re burning off stress or reducing muscle tension or boosting endorphins, and we leave it at that. But the real reason we feel so good when we get our blood pumping is that it makes the brain function at its best" (http://www.sparkinglife.org).

In the book's introduction he goes on to say, "Building muscles and conditioning the heart and lungs are essentially side effects. I often tell my patients that the point of exercise is to build and condition the brain."

In fact the brain exercise routine he recommends is similar to a weight workout routine, in that you have to push yourself hard one day, and then take a day off to let your brain recover, just like in weight training. Another key is when you sprint, always put everything you have into it. Run as fast and as hard as you can so you are constantly pushing your body and your brain past their limitations -- this is the key to growth.

espeed · 2012-10-05 · Original thread
Harvard psychiatrist John Ratey wrote a book Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain (http://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-B...) where he explains how aerobic exercise (esp high-intensity interval training/sprints) stimulates neurogenesis and balances the neurotransmitters in the brain. He shows exercise can be more effective than drugs for the treatment of anxiety, stress, depression, and ADHD.
espeed · 2012-09-27 · Original thread
Yes, I just read this book and wholly recommend it.

John Ratey is a famous Harvard psychiatrist who wrote Driven to Distraction. In Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain (http://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-B...), he explains how intense aerobic exercise, like sprints or interval training, will generate the fuel that grows your brain and makes you smarter, and puts your brain chemicals in balance to improve learning esp if you have a history of partying, stress, anxiety, etc.

I have been running several miles a day for a few months, and then last week I started running sprints and noticed an immediate effect.

This is the routine I've been doing: I've been running in a field about the size of a soccer field. To start off I jog half the soccer field and then on the second lap I sprint the length of the field (about 50 yards) and then jog the remaining part. Then walk a lap to catch my breath. So one interval is three laps -- one jog, one jog/sprint, one walk -- at first I did that 4 times, and then increased it to 5, 6, 7, as you get better. When you sprint, just pump your arms and run as fast as you can. Do that 3 times a week -- every other day to let your brain and body recover. On off days, jog a few miles. He gives more details in the book.

lena · 2012-02-22 · Original thread
Research suggests that it does. The book "Spark" by John Ratey goes into this in depth. http://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-B...
100k · 2011-09-29 · Original thread
There is a book about the benefits of exercise on the brain. Studies have found exercise to be useful for a lot of brain problems, everything from dementia to depression. As the author puts it, if exercise could be put in a pill it would be considered a miracle drug.

The writing style is a bit gee-wiz, but I actually learned some useful stuff from the book.

Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain http://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-B...

snitko · 2010-06-12 · Original thread
You should maybe read the book called "Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain" - http://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-B...

A great deal of what you're saying (and many more) is explained there.

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