If you feel like you’re juggling a zillion things right now…here are a few thoughts on juggling and why today might be the perfect time to learn the circus art version of juggling. It’s proven to help improve strength, attention, stress relief and more! Juggling isn’t just a fun and entertaining pastime. For those who are skilled in keeping a number of objects in the air simultaneously—be they handkerchiefs, rubber balls or flaming torches—the perks are many. It might seem surprising to some, but evidence suggests there are definite health benefits for those who engage in this dextrous pursuit. Here are some of the particulars:
• Juggling is a truly portable workout: The equipment required for juggling is minimal and portable. Juggling scarves or balls fit into a purse, briefcase, backpack or luggage. And folks can juggle in large or small spaces. This makes it the perfect exercise for business travelers, or anyone who finds themselves on the road: touring musicians, athletes, adventurers, campers, etc. Juggling is aerobic exercise, as long as someone remembers to BREATHE while doing it! It may be one of the few (or only) aerobic exercises that can be done in a tiny space.
• Juggling improves intelligence: Yes, it’s true—juggling has been proven to increase the amount of gray matter in the brain (Nature magazine, volume 427, Jan. 2004). One study even found that it did this in just seven days. Research also suggests it may prevent Alzheimer’s disease, making it a great choice for brain fitness. When juggling, a person is not only burning calories, toning their body and strengthening their core; they’re exercising their mind as well. This is why there’s no need to worry about how long it takes to learn how to juggle.
• Juggling sharpens focus and concentration: Juggling engages problem-solving skills. A person can’t just throw all the balls up in the air and hope everything comes together. This is why juggling is excellent for helping master the art of concentration. The intense focus required for juggling can filter into other areas of life that require the same type of close attention.
• Juggling is the ultimate in stress relief: When learning to juggle, a person is immediately absorbed in the activity. It’s almost impossible to think of anything but the task at hand. This makes it a great way to escape any worries, stress, hardships or anything that might be hanging over someone’s head. Overwhelmed with work? Pick up the juggling balls or scarves for as little as five minutes and practice—the mind will clear.
Juggling truly is one of the quickest ways to take one’s mind off something, which makes it the perfect form of stress relief.
• It doesn’t feel like exercise: Many people are surprised to find out that juggling is exercise, and that it burns 280 calories per hour, much like walking. This is probably because it is so very different from running on a treadmill, lifting weights or doing crunches or pushups. Simply put, these exercises do not make people laugh, and they are not usually entertaining to watch. But juggling definitely is entertaining for others to watch, even if someone is just learning! What other exercise has that effect?
• No travel is required: Sometimes hitting the gym or going for that long run seems like an impossible wall to climb. Our bodies need a break from exercise; this is normal. Juggling is especially great for those times someone might not be feeling up to a workout. It requires no time investment—no money has to be spent on gas to drive to the gym, no wasting that 15 minutes getting to the running trail. Just pick up the balls and start to juggle. If someone’s body is truly not up for exercise, they can just stop. No wasted time or gas money.
• Juggling maintains and increases range of motion in the arms and shoulders: Juggling utilizes body mechanics in which people normally do not engage. It’s great to move the body in new ways to maintain range of motion. The expression “use it or lose it” applies here. Juggling lubricates the joints in the arms and shoulders, and keeps them from getting creaky. That also makes juggling a great form of senior fitness for the same reason.
As hobbies go, juggling is hard to beat for fun…and as it turns out, it’s building better bodies and minds in the process.
© 2019 Silver Disobedience Inc.