I don’t actually like to exercise, but I have to admit that I feel better afterword. And on days that I don’t exercise, I feel sluggish and grumpy. Science has acknowledged both the physical benefits of aerobic exercise as well the mood altering benefits (endorphins.)
But what science has only recently understood is that exercise actually alters the brain. That exercise can spark new brain cell growth just as it develops stronger muscles and better lung capacity is new and radical information.
In his book, Spark, Dr. John Ratey takes the reader through the science of this discovery along with a few fascinating case studies. Unfortunately to my mind, there is more of the former than the later. I skimmed a lot of the heavy science to get to the examples. It is worth picking up the book just to read the story of the physical education program in the Naperville, IL school district. The implications for children’s health and school fitness programs around country are mind boggling.
Maybe not the most readable read, but informative. I expect we will be seeing more about this subject over the next few years as the conclusions are too tantalizing to ignore