Physical Benefits of Juggling and Circus Skills
Please note that the words “juggling” and “circus skills” are interchangeable on this page. The art of throwing objects in the air such as balls, rings and clubs, as well as manipulating objects such as diabolo, devil stick, spinning plates all offer the same benefits for willing pupils!
Improves and Increases:
- Physical Fitness
- Rhythm and Timing
- Body Orientation
- (fantastic Stress Reliever!)
Physical Fitness – Juggling is a great way to exercise! – Because it is fun, people spend hours practicing. Think of the many times that a person bends over to pick up a dropped juggling item (especially in the beginner stages of learning)! These are bending and stretching exercises. People learning to juggle scarfs, get a fantastic cardio-vascular and pulmonary workout! Think of all the throws and catches being made. This is exercise too! The repetitive motions of throwing and catching builds muscle and tones existing muscles. As people progress, they may move on to juggling heavier objects – a fun way to do weight training!
Eye-Hand Co-ordination – This skill improves loads when you learn to juggle! You will find that any other sporting activity you do, will benefit from learning to juggle also.
Ambidexterity – People learning circus skills are always taught that as soon as they learn how to do a trick using mainly their stronger hand, that they should then learn to do the trick using their weaker hand.
Keeps you warm! – I have attended many seminars (usually health or educational functions) where I have been asked to promote the benefits of juggling by giving people a chance to try juggling and talk to them about my findings on these pages (usually during a break-time from the main event). Sometimes the function rooms are quite cold, and by getting people to participate in a quick lesson of something, it gets them a bit warmer for the remainder of the seminars, which in turn helps them to concentrate more!
Improved Motor Skills – Juggling is a skill which requires throwing and catchign skills, rhythm and timing, hand-eye co-ordination. These in turn encompass both fine and gross motor co-ordination.
Balance is important in many areas of life, whether you are balancing priorities or trying to find a balance between extremes. Students can learn balance at the same time as they learn circus skills. They can balance both sides of their brain because you tend to learn how to juggle using one side of the brain, and when you get used to the pattern it switches to the other side of the brain. Your body and mind have to work in balance with each other to make the moves possible. Your physical balancing can improve if you master the rola bola, tightrope or unicycle!
Rhythm and Timing – Some students prefer to learn juggling to music. This way they can throw and catch ‘on the beat’. They may vary their juggling pace depending on the tempo of the song. For those jugglers struggling to space their throws out (with too many objects colliding), then juggling to music can help.
Fantastic Stress Reliever – You reduce stress because in order to give your attention to juggling and learning, you need to put your worldy concerns to one side and focus fully! Juggling encourages a mental and physical state known as ‘relaxed concentration’ in which the mind and body are able to be focussed and alert while remaining calm and relaxed. You can sometimes find that the answer to your problems is much easier to find once you have finished the juggling and your mind is feeling refreshed! Of course, if you are a Professional Juggler, then you may find that you need another hobby to relieve stress instead!