28 December 2014

Resource -- John Ratey's book about exercise and the brain

"Spark, The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain."

By John Ratey, MD.

I'm reading this book on the recommendation of a friend who is, at forty-something, exercising vigorously for the first time in her adult life. She's lost weight and seems lighter, somehow, and freer. A perfect testimonial for the book.

I'm only about half-way through, but find the mix of biology, physiology, and scientific research interesting and accessible to a lay person. Ratey writes about how exercise affects our brains and our thinking, and writes in detail about depression, stress, ADHD, addictions and anxiety.

Photo  by William Marsh
No mention yet of chronic pain specifically, yet a good bit of what he says applies to living with chronic pain, which is stressful and can make us depressed and anxious.

I started working out at the YMCA recently (this post), and find what Ratey says to be true for the benefits of my new exercise regimen. I have made a very slow start as I learn to accommodate migraine pain and allow my stamina to slowly increase, yet the benefits are there. It's helpful reading this book and discovering positive changes I had not been aware of.

In my next post, I'll share a bit about how it is to develop an exercise regimen despite chronic pain and from a very out-of-shape beginning point.

Thank you for reading my blog. You can leave a comment below or email me at carold.marsh@gmail.com.

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