Learn to Juggle for Your Brain Health

Learn to Juggle for Your Brain Health

I perceive myself as a fairly inquisitive person. I like reading and learning new things, but my big problem has always been concentration and long-term focus. Often, reading one book would take me weeks, sometimes months, and I wouldn’t usually remember much afterwards. I wanted to change this.

The Most Brain-Specific Exercise

A few years back I saw a video of a doctor who called juggling ‘the most brain-specific exercise, and who got all his medical students to juggle. According to the students, juggling helped them gain better concentration and relieve stress at the same time.

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I’ve never been interested in juggling, considering it only as a party trick or a circus-specific sport, but this video stirred my curiosity. If juggling could improve concentration, I thought to myself, it might help me to improve my reading and learning skills in general.

Studies on Effects of Learning a Visual-Motor Skill

An interesting quote from an article called “Changes in Gray Matter Induced by Learning” states:

Recently, activation-dependant structural brain plasticity in humans has been demonstrated in adults after three months of training a visuomotor skill. Learning three-ball cascade juggling was associated with a transient and highly selective increase in brain gray matter in the occipito-temporal cortex comprising the motion sensitive area hMT/V5 bilaterally.

An Oxford study claims that learning a new skill such as juggling creates more white matter in the brain. White matter are the nerve strands that help different parts of the brain communicate with each other, and an activity such as juggling can boost the connection between different parts of the brain.

Thanks to all these studies, programmes are now being put in place for people with brain injuries (such as stroke victims) to be taught to juggle in an attempt to increase their brain functioning.

Benefits of Learning to Juggle

Juggling encourages the brain to work in a crossover pattern, which can be beneficial for children and adults with dyslexia, as well as anyone who would like to improve their reading skills.

Complex learning tasks, juggling included, provide multiple benefits, such as:

– Relieving stress

– Sharpening focus and concentration

– Increasing dexterity and coordination

– Diminishing food cravings

– Assisting in the cessation of smoking

– Prevention or delay of Alzheimer’s disease

Jim Kwik

One of the people talking highly of jugg