Book Club

Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain


John L. Ratey, M.D.

Front Cover

Chapter Four:

Anxiety: Nothing to Panic About

Participate in the book club discussion of this chapter by doing the following:

1. Before reading the chapter, take a moment to write in your High Performance Journal.

 – Based on the title of this chapter, what do you imagine you might learn?

 – What thoughts or ideas come to mind?

 – What kind of effect do you anticipate it will have on you to read this chapter?

2. Read the chapter.

3. Write in your journal, reflecting on what you read.

 – What 3-5 things stood out to you?

 – What did you learn that was meaningful or important to you?

 – Do you want to do anything different in your own life as a result?

4. Participate in the discussion below, sharing your thoughts or ideas about the chapter.

– Share anything you want from what you wrote in your journal.

 – What related to or supported anything else within the dimension this book belongs to.

– What related to or supported anything in the dimension of achievement and the pursuit of your goals?

– Contribute to the discussion in a helpful, positive way.

1 reply
  1. Scott Baird
    Scott Baird says:

    The opening Case Study about Amy and her divorce and custody case was instructive. Again, for me, the science and the text with highly referenced research is exciting and fun. Sorry everyone, it really IS fun for me. Rate’s court testimony that exercise works a lot like Prozac and the antidepressants and anti anxiety drugs is compelling

    Though classified as higher intensity, I found that exercising at least 3 times per week for as little as 20 minutes each time at an intensity level of as low as 60% of maximum heart rate reduced the fear of the physical symptoms of anxiety Joshua Broman-Fulks, University of Southern Mississippi, 2004.

    I loved the insight Ratey provides of his counseling session with a woman who acknowledged she felt better when she exercised but just didn’t have the time. Rate’s counsel, “I told her the irony was that she’d feel less harried if she took the ext time to exercise.” The truth is, we have to MAKE the time to exercise!

    104 studies between 1960-1989, showed that exercise alleviates anxiety. Admittedly, correlational research–but what a correlation!

    The elegance of exercise?
    1. it provides distraction. reduces muscle tension,
    3. it builds brain resources.
    4. I teaches a different outcome.
    5. It reroutes your circuits.
    6. It improves resilience.
    7. It sets you free.

    Just Awesome!

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