Can training change the phisical structure of your brain?

BBC ONE has broadcast the 2010 TV series "Bang Goes The Theory". One episode was about the question: "Can you train your brain'. This episode contained a test that showed how juggling can increase the gray matter in the brains late. Interesting are the images of the brain scans. Although this was about normal juggling, I strongly believe that Contactjuggling has a simular effect. Click here to view the video.

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 as early as after 7 days of training! Research also suggests it may prevent Alzheimer’s disease, making it a great choice for brain fitness. When you juggle, you’re not only burning calories, toning your body and strengthening your core, you’re exercising your mind as well. This is why there’s no need to worry about how long it takes you to learn how to juggle – you’re still burning calories and boosting your brainpower. In fact, the longer it takes you to learn, the more you are exercising your mind!

Juggling sharpens focus & concentration

Juggling engages your problem-solving skills. You can’t just throw all the balls up in the air and hope everything comes together! This is why juggling is excellent for helping you master the art of concentration. The intense focus required for juggling can filter into other areas of your life that require the same type of close attention.

Juggling is the ultimate in stress relief

When you are learning to juggle, you are 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 your head.
Say you are overwhelmed with so much at work that you can barely think straight. If you pick up the juggling balls or scarves for as little as 5 minutes and practice, you will clear your mind and be able to tackle your job with more clarity and focus.
Juggling truly is one of the quickest ways to take your mind off something, which makes it the perfect form stress relief.

It doesn’t feel like exercise

Many people are surprised to find out that juggling is exercise, and that is 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 you laugh, and they are not usually entertaining to watch, unless you are attending bodybuilding competitions or the like. But juggling definitely makes you laugh, and is entertaining for others to watch, even if you are just learning! What other exercise has that effect?

Juggling maintains and increases range of motion in the arms and shoulders

Juggling utilizes body mechanics in which we 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 as we age! That also makes juggling a great form of senior fitness for the same reason.

Juggling is one of the best ways to improve coordination

Many people say they can’t juggle because they are too uncoordinated. Nine times out of ten, the people that say that are the first ones in the class to be able to juggle, no joke!

Even if you are truly uncoordinated, that’s even more reason to add juggling to your fitness routine (check out this study). Better coordination will make your daily activities easier and help prevent trips and falls (especially important for senior fitness). No one is able to juggle out of the womb. It takes practice! Remember that the act of learning how to juggle still burns calories, tones your body and boosts your brainpower.

Juggling is beneficial for all age groups and body types

As mentioned in the above section, professional athletes can and do benefit from juggling. Sedentary people, even those that have trouble walking from lack of activity, can also benefit from juggling. One can even learn to juggle while sitting down.

The great thing about juggling, is that it’s gentle exercise that is not stressful on the joints. It’s a no-impact workout. This also makes it a great senior fitness activity. Seniors often comment on how they feel juggling can truly help them stay active and maintain their mental and physical health.

Juggling makes exercising with family & friends easy

Juggling is the perfect way for a family to exercise together, because everyone can workout at their own level. As parents juggle for exercise, young children can be entertained just by watching. They can also help out with picking up dropped scarves or balls. As children reach grade school age, they can start to pick up juggling. Parents can teach their children to juggle and incorporate it as a regular family exercise activity. Same goes for you grandparents too! How cool will your grandchildren think it is that you taught them how to juggle?!