The Power of Play and Exercise in Cognitive Function

“Worldwide studies and science support exercise for relieving symptoms related to ADD, OCD, anxiety, depression, addiction and aging. Exercise unleashes a cascade of neurochemicals and growth factors that physically bolster the brain’s infrastructure." ~Dr. John Ratey

So, what keeps us from making it a necessary part of our day?

Join us as we dive into the power of play and exercise through the work of Jill Vialet, Founder and CEO of PlayWorks and Dr. John Ratey, author of "Spark" and "Go Wild."

Dr. John Ratey

Dr. John Ratey

John J. Ratey, MD, is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Research Synthesizer, Speaker, Author, and Clinical Psychiatrist maintaining a private practice in Cambridge, Mass. He has lectured and published 60 peer reviewed articles on the topics of Aggression, Autism, ADHD, and other issues in neuropsychiatry, and has authored or co-authored seven books.

His latest book, GO WILD explains the scientific evidence behind why maintaining a lifestyle more like that of our ancestors will restore our health and well-being.

With his previous book, "Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and The Brain,” Dr. Ratey established himself as a leading expert in the brain-fitness connection. A highly sought after speaker, he has embarked on a world-wide mission to re-engineer schools, corporations, and individual lifestyle practices by incorporating exercise to achieve peak performance and optimum mental health.

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Jill Vialet

Jill Vialet

Jill Vialet is the CEO and founder of Playworks, the leading national nonprofit leveraging the power of safe, fun, and healthy play at school every day. Playworks creates a place for every kid on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills. Playworks partners with schools, districts, and after-school programs to provide a service or mix of services including on-site coaches, professional training for school staff who support recess, and consultative partnerships.

Vialet is the author of Recess Rules, a fictional book written for children from 8 to 13 years old. She has received numerous honors, including being selected as an Ashoka Fellow in 2004 and named to the Forbes Impact 30 as one of the 30 leading social entrepreneurs worldwide in 2011, as well as being asked to speak at TEDMED in 2014. She also is one of a small group of Californians honored with the 2013 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award. Jill is a graduate of Harvard University. Learn more at