Dr. Ratey presented the Denham Harman, M.D., Ph.D., Lectureship in Biomedical Gerontology Friday to a full house in the Durham Research Center Auditorium.
During the lecture, Dr. Ratey said exercise and constant challenges are beneficial for the mind. Even stress -- if it has a recovery period-- is productive, he said, noting that growth occurs at that time. It is similar, he said, to weight lifting, which challenges muscles and then makes them stronger during recovery. Physical and mental exercise is a challenge to the brain, Dr. Ratey said.
"Going out for a run is like a little Prozac and Ritalin," he said. "We feel more focused, calm and motivated afterward. The more activity you are doing, the less cognitive decline."