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What Are the Best Left Brain Exercises?

Balancing a checkbook without a calculator can be a good left brain exercise.
The left side of the brain handles logic and reasoning.
Crossword puzzles are good brain exercisers.
Math, logic, and spelling exercises can help improve left brain function.
There is disagreement among medical researchers as to whether brain exercises can actually help strengthen either hemisphere of the brain.
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  • Written By: C. Mitchell
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 05 December 2014
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Although little about brain health, function, and power potential is known with definite certainty, scientists have long been able to establish the general strengths and weaknesses of the human brain’s hemispheres. The right brain, in most people, is the home of spatial recognition abilities, visual and artistic aptitude, and musical skills. The left brain’s dominant features include language aptitude, logical reasoning, and rational skills like mathematical capabilities. The best left brain exercises are those that strengthen the left brain’s core dominance areas. Math problems, logic puzzles, and even spelling drills — any sorts of exercises that prioritize the factual and concrete — are among the best left brain exercises.

Many people believe that if all of the brain’s capabilities are not used and practiced, their functionalities will diminish over time. There is some debate with respect to whether individuals can actually strengthen specific brain hemispheres with targeted exercises. Most medical professionals agree, however, that the brain’s overall sharpness and mental acuity can be at least preserved by regular exercise and drills.

Each brain hemisphere has different roles, and different dominances. People will often identify themselves as either “left brained” or “right brained,” which is a way of identifying individual learning style. So-called right-brained thinkers are often more artistic, visual learners, while left-brained thinkers are more spatial, logic-oriented thinkers. All people have the ability to tap into the skills of both hemispheres. Dominance has only to do with which kind of learning or thinking comes more easily.

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Medical professionals often recommend that people exercise their less-dominant hemisphere to maintain brain fitness, particularly as people age. For right-brained people, this means undertaking left brain exercises. The left brain is also known as the analytic brain, and the best left brain exercises are, perhaps unsurprisingly, mostly analytical in nature in order to match those left brain functions.

Common left brain exercises include math drills, word puzzles, and logic problems. The problems need not be advanced or difficult. The goal is to improve brain acuity, not necessarily to raise intelligence. Most of the time, left brain games are designed to be for the brain what a brisk walk is for the body: exercise and movement, but nothing overly strenuous. Left brain cognitive exercises are meant to keep the left brain active, and to encourage left brain development.

Some companies will sell workbooks or computer games geared towards brain improvement. These products can be helpful, but are not always necessary. Left brain activities exist in many everyday tasks. Forcing one’s self to balance the checkbook without a calculator, or estimate a grocery tab based on items in the cart, are left brain exercises. So is working a crossword puzzle, or making new words out of the letters in a given word or sentence. Making lists and ordering items in closets or cupboards count, too. The goal of left brain exercise is to tap into analytical reasoning and logic, and no one method is necessarily better than another.

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Feryll
Post 3

It makes sense to me that a person can exercise his brain and keep it in condition. After all, why should the brain be any different than the other parts of our bodies that benefit from exercise. When you use a muscle that muscle gets stronger. When you don't use it, the muscle deteriorates. By the way, solving math problems in your head is a good way to exercise your brain.

Drentel
Post 2

@Laotionne - Who wouldn't want to believe that doing puzzles and doing brain exercises for memory will help all of us avoid senility in our old age? I certainly hope this is true, but I tend to lean the other way.

My mother didn't read much, she didn't do brain exercise and she eventually suffered from dementia. Actually, she developed this condition early. So you might say that this is another example of how lack of brain exercise can lead to dementia. However, in the assisted living facility where she lived the last years of her life, there were plenty of people in the same condition as she was in.

Many of the people in the facility had done brain exercises of some sort and they still developed dementia and memory loss. I think if you live long enough then there is a good chance that you will start to slow down mentally regardless of what brain exercise games you do.

Laotionne
Post 1

I ha ad great aunt who used to do puzzles all of the time. People would give her puzzle books as gifts for Christmas and for her birthdays. She was a difficult person to buy for except for the puzzles. We always knew she would appreciate and use the puzzle books unlike many of the other gifts she received.

She lived to be 99 years old, and she was as sharp mentally when she died as she was at any other time in her life. The puzzles and word games were a big reason why she stayed mentally alert. She was a walking billboard for the benefits of brain teasers and the benefits of brain training exercises and brain stimulating exercises.

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