Most people who are not juggling the aficionados do not take this activity seriously and do not expect it to be anything more than just fun. Those people are mistaken, because juggling is a great, fun way to keep in shape and it has certain benefits on the brain as well.
A University of Regensburg study shown that juggling increases brain matter. The study involved 24 people, twelve of which were told to learn how to juggle. They were given three months to practice juggling with three balls for at least a minute without dropping them. The other twelve people did not juggle in that period. After three months, an MRI examination of all the participants was done in order to measure their brain size. People who were juggling had an increase of three to four percent of the brain size in the area responsible for perceiving the visual motion, while the brain size of the other participants remained the same.
The study did not indicate whether the size of the brain would continue to increase if the persons continued to juggle, but it did show that after they were asked to stop juggling for three months, the brain size in that specific area decreased by one to two percent.
More and more schools have introduced juggling as a part of the curriculum. A school in Florida created a juggling program that aims to help the children who are about to start learning how to read. Since there was not a study examining the effects of juggling on learning skills, there is no scientific evidence, but the teachers did notice that children had more concentration. It seemed that the children who had difficulty juggling also had difficulty learning how to read well.
Another elementary school, this one in Missouri, introduced the so-called juggling breaks. One part of the classes was dedicated to juggling and after it the children were refreshed, more focused, and generally started learning better and behaving better.
Juggling is also an excellent form of exercise. People who juggle are usually fit, and it makes perfect sense, as it requires a certain level of stamina. Juggling involves the muscles of the upper body, arms, shoulders and back, and it is not rare that a juggler breaks a sweat during this activity. This exercise is even more effective with greater numbers of items used for juggling.
Unlike jogging or going to a gym, juggling never gets old or boring and it is rather addictive, which makes it a great way to work out and stay in shape.