In my Vegas Voice column, “A Thinkin’ Minute”, I’ve suggested a variety of activities to improve your brain and talked about the latest brain research. One brain-building activity I’ll be addressing in a future column is ‘juggling’, but since the World Juggling Federation (WJF) is in town this week (7/21-25) at the Riviera Hotel, I thought I’d mention it in my blog.
Yes, learning to juggle three balls, beanbags or even scarves, is good for your brain. This has been reported on ABC News, CNN.com and the BBC who cite a recent British study at Oxford University which involved participants who had never juggled. Over a three month period they learned and practiced juggling three balls, and as a result, they experienced an increase in white matter and grey matter in their brains. Over the years, there have also been other studies with similar results and there have been articles in Scientific American magazine which have shown how studying juggling provides insight into human learning as well as coordination.
So what does that mean for us all? If you live in Vegas, you, your children or grandchildren might consider attending beginning juggling lessons at the WJF convention this week. (They have a special $20/day rate for Nevada Residents.) Or, get a how-to-juggle video at the library and learn on your own.
You may not get a job with Cirque du Soleil but you’ll sure be a hit at a neighborhood barbeque AND you’ll be building brain power.