Fearless Falling Lessons -- Juggling!?
How can learning basic juggling help prevent falls?
It may appear a little crazy at first, but learning simple juggling
skills can actually improve your health, awareness and postural
stability. The human brain is amazingly good at calculating the
trajectories of moving objects, even when you only glimpse them with
your peripheral vision. Your body is wired with sensors at every joint
and muscle, letting your brain know where your hands and feet are
without looking. Knowing where you are in space and what is immediately
around you is always important for your personal safety and
As you age, and especially if you suffer from disabilities such
as neuropathy or Parkinson's, the basic feedback from your body
diminishes. Balance exercises and juggling practice can
force you to use your remaining bodily sensations and make them
stronger and more accurate.
While it may seem that learning how to juggle is rather frivolous, it
has surprising benefits in everyday life. One is that you become
more aware of surrounding objects and motions in general.
This alone can prevent accidentally banging into things.
The second is that you have a greater awareness and calmness about the
trajectories of fast moving objects. Your brain is freshly
trained to calculate where moving things will end up. The result
is that you stop "chasing" dropped or falling objects, and either watch
to see where they go, or move your hands to where they will be and
The two keys to simple juggling are :
1) Catching the ball must become automatic.
2) Throwing the ball accurately is very important.
-- Very Basic Juggling Instructions --