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
- First throw out any notion of “I can’t draw.” No one has to see this. Just have fun!
- Find something to trace such as your hand, a picture from a magazine, a coin, a bottle.
- Trace the object.
- Draw in additional detail. Start with obvious major lines, then finer detail, and then finally shading.
- 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
- Pick a simple subject like a coffee cup, a glass with water, a bottle, a pencil, whatever!
- Start drawing lots of lines very quickly.
- Keep your hand moving, going over and over lines darkning where you “get things right” and leaving behind lines that are off the mark.
- Have a rhythm of continuous movement and drawing.
- Start with major outlines.
- Add large sections.
- Add smaller sections.
- Add smaller detail.
- Keep your hand moving and sketching.
- Add shading.
- Then step back and enjoy your masterpiece.
- If you have time, do a couple more. The more you do this the stronger you build your brain!
Left Brain Exercises
- Do the crossword puzzle in your local newspaper.
- Or do the USA Today online crossword puzzle.
- Or check out BestCrosswords for multiple printable or online crossword puzzles.
- This deductive thinking exercise uses your brain’s logic synapses heavily.Do this with some frequency and feel your brain grow.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Download this crossword template from Microsoft for Word.
- Or Use graph paper.
- Take the longest word and put it in the middle.
- Start adding in words across and down.
- When done, lay graph paper on top to make the blank puzzle by numbering the squares and blacking out the unused squares.
- Make copies and give to your friends.
Combo Right/Left Brain Exercises
- Pick something to read which has the potential to be dramatic such as a poem, story, or inspirational speech.
- Read it out loud with dramatic flair. Really get into it.
- This will activate your right brain with reading and left brain interpreting the feelings of the words.
- Bonus: do this for a child and you’ll be growing two brains! Yours and the child’s! Have fun!
- 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!
- Find a song you like.
- Search for the lyrics on Google: “Song name lyrics”
- Sing it with drama and flair.
- Singing with the radio is ok too.
- Bonus: engage a child to play along! Have fun growing the connections between both sides of your brain!
What are your favorite left/right brain exercises? All comments big and small are very welcomed!
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