This is a guest blog by Aniya Wells
This year has seen a couple of wonderful joggling athletes emerge from college campuses. Matthew Feldman, a student at Rice University in Houston, Texas, recently broke the world record for the mile-run for 5-ball joggling. Thomas Gounley a recent graduate of the University of New Hampshire joggled the 2012 Boston Marathon in hopes of overturning Perry Romanowski’s world record for the ultra-marathon. Though the heat kept Gounley from completing his goal, he has expressed a desire to give it another go.
To the outsider, the joggling world may seem a bit strange. After all, most people expect to see jugglers performing at a circus instead of running a marathon. Upon closer inspection, however, it comes as no surprise that juggling (and joggling) is becoming a more common past-time on college campuses and can be a component of sportsmanship. In a world that incessantly demands multi-tasking and focus; juggling is a small skill that can greatly benefit the bodies and minds of jugglers. It’s also a lot of fun!
Neuroscience research has shown that juggling actually increases the white and grey matter in the brain. (Say what!?) However, it isn’t simply the act of juggling that increases brain growth, but the learning process. Though it has been said that learning to juggle is like learning to ride a bike, one study revealed that participants over 60 who learned to juggle forgot the skill within 3 months and lost the additional matter that had grown during the learning process. This “use it or lose it” finding shows that practicing juggling is necessary to maintain the improvements.
Juggling is a type of active meditation. It teaches people to focus on external and internal elements while doing something active. Another aspect of juggling is that it teaches people how to respond to failure. How? Because all jugglers know that eventually the ball will drop. Even master jugglers like Perry Romanowski will tell you that across the long haul, the rhythm will break at least once. What do jogglers do when they drop the balls? They pick them back up and keep going. The goal isn’t to be perfect and never drop the ball. In fact, the goal of juggling varies from person to person. Juggling has even been proven to help ease anxiety in some patients.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of juggling is that it improves your hand-eye coordination. Posture and poise are essential to learning to juggle, but these attributes are also huge components of all athletic sports. For those who aren’t “into sports”, the posture and poise of juggling can help alleviate the aches and pains associated with hours spent sitting in an office chair. Juggling can strengthen wrists and can help build back and shoulder muscles that help with backs that ache from hunching over a keyboard all day.
Because of its ability to sharpen focus and hand-eye coordination, juggling is perfect for young students who are balancing studies and personal lives. However, because juggling is a low-intensity skill, it can be learned and practiced at any age for lifelong benefits.
A freelance blogger and writer for over ten years, Aniya Wells now regularly contributes to the www.Onlinedegreeprograms.com blog. She is passionate about giving potential students advice as they embark on an online or traditional degree program. Please direct questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org