Building a Smarter, Stronger Brain – Part 1

This series will introduce you to brain workouts you can use to improve your brain. This is part one. Each installment will offer 3 different types of exercises you can do today to grow your brain.

How Our Brains Compute

Our brains differ from computers in many ways, but the most elemental difference is in how we process information. Computers process information in a logical fashion, computing each step that it is programmed to do.

Our brains, on the other hand, process information via a neural network. This means that many different parts of the brain are working on the processing. The programming comes from the type of brain routines we run most often. Many different parts of your brain can participate. Each part is in communication with the others. Some step up more often, but this can be altered at any time.

How Brains Improve

The most powerful brains are the ones where many parts of the brain are activated and communicating on a regular basis. So how do you achieve this? Exercise! Brain exercise, that is. You need to give all the different parts a workout from time to time so that they will join in on the every day processing to make your brain smarter and stronger.

The more you exercise the different parts of the brain, the more you get all the jets of your brain firing and contributing, creating a symphony of power!

Parts of the Brain

There are two major parts to your brain, the right and left hemisphere. Some of us work with one side more than the other. And some of us only work in limited ways with that one side. Getting both sides flexing and comuunicating from the surface down to deeper levels will power up your brain.

Exercises to Grow Your Brain Smarter and Stronger

Try each of these exercises today to grow your brain. And click here to subscribe for future brain building exercise articles.

Right Brain Exercises

Beginners: Trace and Draw
  1. First throw out any notion of “I can’t draw.” No one has to see this. Just have fun!
  2. Find something to trace such as your hand, a picture from a magazine, a coin, a bottle.
  3. Trace the object.
  4. Draw in additional detail. Start with obvious major lines, then finer detail, and then finally shading.
  5. Do this once a week to work out your right brain and be amazed how you progress! That’s your brain improving!

Intermediate: Messy Free Sketching
  1. Pick a simple subject like a coffee cup, a glass with water, a bottle, a pencil, whatever!
  2. Start drawing lots of lines very quickly.
  3. Keep your hand moving, going over and over lines darkning where you “get things right” and leaving behind lines that are off the mark.
  4. Have a rhythm of continuous movement and drawing.
  5. Start with major outlines.
  6. Add large sections.
  7. Add smaller sections.
  8. Add smaller detail.
  9. Keep your hand moving and sketching.
  10. Add shading.
  11. Then step back and enjoy your masterpiece.
  12. If you have time, do a couple more. The more you do this the stronger you build your brain!

Left Brain Exercises

Beginner: Crossword Puzzle
  1. Do the crossword puzzle in your local newspaper.
  2. Or do the USA Today online crossword puzzle.
  3. Or check out BestCrosswords for multiple printable or online crossword puzzles.
  4. This deductive thinking exercise uses your brain’s logic synapses heavily.Do this with some frequency and feel your brain grow.
Intermediate: Design a Crossword Puzzle
This will use your deductive reasoning in reverse of how you use it when solving a crossword puzzle. This is a left brain workout. You’ll also get some right brain through designing the layout.
  1. Pick an even number of words, say 10-20 words. You can use a theme or not. Try for variety of type of word (noun, verbs, adjectives, etc) as well as length of word.
  2. Make up a clue for each word. Clues can be in the form of missing word from a famous quote, “sounds like” word, place where you would find or do this word, or whatever system you want to use. Refer to other crossword puzzles for how they write their clues.
  3. Download this crossword template from Microsoft for Word.
  4. Or Use graph paper.
  5. Take the longest word and put it in the middle.
  6. Start adding in words across and down.
  7. When done, lay graph paper on top to make the blank puzzle by numbering the squares and blacking out the unused squares.
  8. Make copies and give to your friends.

Combo Right/Left Brain Exercises

Beginner: Reading with Feeling
  1. Pick something to read which has the potential to be dramatic such as a poem, story, or inspirational speech.
  2. Read it out loud with dramatic flair. Really get into it.
  3. This will activate your right brain with reading and left brain interpreting the feelings of the words.
  4. Bonus: do this for a child and you’ll be growing two brains! Yours and the child’s! Have fun!
  5. Bonus Bonus: create a mini play  with a child to act out (use one of the child’s favorite stories). Do it a few times!
Intermediate: Singing
  1. Find a song you like.
  2. Search for the lyrics on Google: “Song name lyrics”
  3. Sing it with drama and flair.
  4. Singing with the radio is ok too.
  5. Bonus: engage a child to play along! Have fun growing the connections between both sides of your brain!

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Please Share!

What are your favorite left/right brain exercises? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

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  1. 1
    August 3rd, 2007 at 6:24 pm

    This is a good list of exercises – well compiled and simple to understand. Thanks.

  2. 2
    August 4th, 2007 at 2:17 am

    Excellent article, totally true. Exactly the same principle applies to the body also. The more you exercise it, the healthier it will be.

  3. 3
    August 4th, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    @Rise -thank you.

    @Alan – thank you also for your comment and support!

    Hope to see you both again soon.

  4. 4
    Fred Turner
    August 4th, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    Hi – I’ve also found software-based cognitive exercises to be a powerful tool to improve concentration, problem solving, memory and language skills. Take a look at for more detail.

  5. 5
    August 4th, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    What a great collection of information! Like so many of your posts, this is definitely must-bookmark material for anyone with half a brain ;)

  6. 6
    August 6th, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    @ Fred – thanks for that link. I’ll have to check it out.

    @ Urabanist -as always, thanks!!

  7. 7
    August 7th, 2007 at 1:10 am

    Oh wow, I’m glad I found your blog. I really enjoy the brain exercises. Who can’t use a stronger brain :D

    I’ll bookmark your site, great looking so far.

  8. 8
    August 7th, 2007 at 1:20 am

    great site and very valuable information

  9. 12
    Portland Real Estate
    January 11th, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    Cool Im going to bookmark this. Thanks for the info.

  10. 13
    Broker price opinion
    February 27th, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    Brain is one of those things you might need!

  11. 14
    March 13th, 2008 at 10:11 am

    I can’t wait to do some of these exercises. Thanks for writing such an in-depth article.

  12. 15
    April 19th, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Very informative site- with excellent links and articles I’d also recommend. You may also comment on my site and blogs at if you’d like to respond in Denver Colorado.

  13. 16
    June 20th, 2008 at 4:16 am

    Very Useful Stuff!

  14. 17
    free Sudoku Puzzles
    July 24th, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    I would like to say thanks for the links.Its rocks……..scientist are create like these games then they provide with us rules. puzzle games are like brain games we can develop our skills.Nowadays children are like this games.
    You can give your brain a work-out by reading, doing crossword puzzles, … Also keeping your brain going with puzzles

  15. 18
    July 28th, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    @Free sudoku – thanks for the link to your fee sudoku!

  16. 19
    Denver SEO
    September 4th, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    Great insight.

    One of my favorite “brain” exercises is getting rid of cable television.

    Another of my favorite “brain” exercises is not watching the news.

    My last favorite brain exercises is closing your eyes several times a day.

  17. 20
    October 2nd, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    @Denver SEO – nice! Like it!

  18. 21
    Mr. Pencil
    January 28th, 2010 at 7:41 am

    I agree that drawing can help brain development, and everybody can use pencils. For these exercises, it is not important to draw quality drawings, just to practice.

  19. 22
    February 18th, 2012 at 12:50 am

    Even if a person don’t know how to draw as long as he/she is willing to learn from it, then little by little progress will come through. Crossword puzzle is also a brain enhancing game. It can enhance and develop mind skills. I’d love to play crossword puzzles even if I cannot answer all the questions. LOL!!!!at least I’ve tried.


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