5 Reasons To Take Up Juggling Right Now
Did you know that juggling can help you get further ahead in life?
Multiple studies on juggling and its links with our mental and physical health, paired with its creative, accessible and fun nature and ability to impart a growth mindset onto the learner makes the unique skill a wonderful way to develop attributes that you can apply to your own life while also learning how to perform this entertaining act.
Here are our top 5 reasons to take up juggling:
1. It’s Accessible To Everyone
People of all ages and skill levels can learn, benefit from and enjoy juggling.
It doesn’t matter what your age, body type, gender or athletic ability is. Juggling is a form of exercise that both professional athletes and sedentary or uncoordinated people can take up and have equal or similar success in. Likewise, a 10 year old and a 70 year old can both easily learn the skill, making it a fun family activity. Many even comment their surprise that juggling is considered a form of exercise as it doesn’t come with the painful burn that accompanies lifting weights or highly intensive workouts despite juggling helping in burning calories. Juggling is a lot more fun than those other exercises and can be the source of much laughter and enjoyment regardless of whether you are learning the skill yourself or watching someone else learn it for the first time.
Another reason why juggling is particularly great for everyone is that it prevents the effects of aging, so whether you’re old or young, you can benefit from picking up the skill. This is because juggling helps keep the joints young and improves the coordination of the person learning it. It’s a no-impact workout that isn’t stressful on the joints, especially compared to other forms of exercise. Juggling focuses on coordination in the arms and makes use of parts of the body that we don’t typically engage. This increased engagement benefits the arms and shoulders by lubricating the joints and keeping them young. Additionally, since the balls fall so often when practicing, learners have to bend down frequently to pick them up, meaning their entire body gets a workout through stretching. The skill aids seniors in staying active mentally and physically. This is a major reason that contributes to why juggling is so great for senior fitness.
2. Teaches Success Through Failure
- Juggling teaches success through failure.
- Learning how to juggle can help you adopt a growth mindset.
In his book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dr Dweck outlines the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. The growth mindset is one in which the learner believes they can develop any skill through hard work and perseverance. While it acknowledges the brain and innate talent, it also recognizes that those traits do not fully determine a person’s success in learning. Instead, the growth mindset fosters a resilience and affection for learning that enables them to grow faster and more effectively.
When learning a new skill, it’s normal to mess up and fail many times, but it’s through these failures that we are able to master the skill. When learning other skills many are put off by the fear of failure, but when it comes to juggling, dropping a couple of balls many times isn’t as stressful or daunting. It’s a much less intimidating skill to approach that can help you build a resistance to failure and giving up. This valuable mindset that you attain through juggling can thereafter be applied to many aspects of your personal and professional life.
While learning how to juggle you may notice that a certain method works while other habits hold you back. This process helps you recognize repeating patterns that aren’t working and take a new approach to overcome the mistake. By going through this trial and error we learn to not worry about failing and instead focus on what our mistakes can teach us so that we can eventually reach success. Juggling can give you a renewed sense of confidence in yourself and a fresh perspective for other areas of your life.
3. Improves The Brains Fitness
Another reason that juggling is so beneficial is that it enhances the development of the brain. Studies have shown that juggling stimulates the growth of neural connections, resulting in improved movement, memory, focus and vision.
At the University of Oxford 24 participants of a study were given juggling equipment to practice with for an hour daily for six weeks, while another group of 24 participants were not. The university scanned the participants’ brains before and after this period of practice and discovered that the participants who had taken up juggling experienced a change in the structure of the white matter of their brain while the participants who did not take up juggling experienced no changes. This caused the participants who did take up juggling to experience improvements in their movement and vision, irrespective of whether they had become skilled at juggling or not.
A prior study from the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany also indicated that juggling increases grey matter in the brain. Grey matter improves an individual’s memory, language and focus which are all important aspects of learning and thinking.
This increase in white and grey matter contributes to improved hand-eye coordination which in turn enhances reaction time, reflexes, spatial awareness, strategic thinking and concentration and can also help with an individual’s confidence and athletic ability.
Four weeks after the University of Oxford’s study the researchers scanned the brains of the jugglers again and found that the white matter that had developed during those six weeks remained while the grey matter had increased. This showed that after learning how to juggle the brain conserves the benefits derived.
Studies show clearly that juggling is a brilliant way to enhance the fitness of the brain and exercise your mind. Some research also shows that juggling may work to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Boosts The Learners Mood
Juggling can also work wonders in improving the mental state of those learning it by reducing tension and anxiety
In 2007 Nakahara et al conducted a study looking into the effects juggling has on women with anxiety. The study involved splitting a group of patients who were being treated for anxiety into two separate groups. The first group was instructed to take up juggling sessions for 10 minutes daily over the course of 3 months in addition to their anxiety treatment, while the second group was instructed to just stick to their anxiety treatment.
When the researchers looked at the results, while both groups had reported a decline in their anxiety, group one who had taken up juggling had experienced a much more significant reduction in anxiety as well as depression in comparison to group 2. It’s speculated that this is because the movements involved in juggling are similar to those in meditation and yoga. Juggling forces the learner to devote their attention to the task at hand and be present physically, rather than being too in their head and overthinking or worrying about other situations. Taking up juggling can therefore help in cultivating a more mindful and clear mind.
5. Promotes Creativity
Learning how to juggle is a wonderful way to give flight to your creativity and have fun whether you are a new performer or a seasoned veteran.
Juggling involves many different types of tricks and props and can be incorporated into a variety of dance and theatrics, so no matter how many things you master there are always new things to learn and perform in fresh and interesting ways. Whether you are juggling standing up or sitting down, with five balls, clubs, rings, bouncing balls, or other unexpected objects, it is a performance skill or hobby where you can express yourself creatively.
The fun isn’t just restricted to yourself either, you can juggle in a team and incorporate different patterns, passing and a plethora of other fascinating and challenging techniques.
In juggling there is no limit and there’s always space to grow more, which helps push the boundaries of your creativity.
As you can see, there are numerous reasons to take up juggling. It’s a versatile skill that you can pick up at any age or level and use to build a resistance to failure, enhance your mental health, agility and confidence while also fostering creativity.
Try it today and see how it enhances your own life.