Practice juggling - or practice trying to juggle
I learned to juggle when I was 35 years old (five years before I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease). I had tried to learn to juggle several times when I was in high school and college, but each time I gave up too soon.
After I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1997, I practiced juggling more because slowness of movement is the most important symptom of Parkinson's disease and it seemed likely that practicing juggling might help me maintain hand coordination and speed of movement.
There is no doubt that practicing juggling has helped me maintain hand-eye coordination and speed of movement in spite of Parkinson's disease. In addition, I believe that practicing juggling is one reason why my Parkinson's disease has progressed slower than usual.
Juggling stimulates the brain - it forces the brain to quickly process complex sensory input and it forces the brain to direct muscles to move quickly in a complex, coordinated manner. Scientists have hypothesized that learning to juggle is likely to stimulate neuroplasticity in a number of parts of the brain, and several scientific studies support this hypothesis.
In the exercise classes that I lead for people with Parkinson's disease, I have been teaching every participant to progress toward learning to juggle. It is difficult for healthy adults to learn to juggle, and it is very difficult for people with Parkinson's disease to learn to juggle but most participants in our classes have significantly improved hand-eye coordination and speed of movement.
It is easier to learn to juggle with good quality juggling products. In my classes, we use juggling scarves and juggling balls (Phat Tyre Pro 90 juggling balls or Phat Tyre Pro juggling balls from www.FlyingClipper.com
We use juggling rings from www.renegadejuggling.com. We use their 1/2"x14" juggling rings and play flat ring 32 cm
We use juggling clubs from www.renegadejuggling.com, www.HigginsBrothers.com, and www.Dube.com
For weighted juggling balls, exercise class participants and I especially like TAP extreme duty balls weighing 14 oz, 21 oz, 32 oz, and 4 pounds. These balls are designed by Oates Specialties to to be thrown against a wall or hit by a baseball bat, so these balls are very durable for juggling. We use weighted balls for juggling during every session of my exercise classes.
In exercise classes that I lead for people with Parkinson's disease, we use medicine balls weighing 3 to 10 pounds for many exercises during most class sessions.
Oates Specialties www.oatesspecialties.com sells
TAP extreme-duty weighted balls in a set of 6 balls (35-oz, 5 oz, 7 ox, 14 oz, 21 oz and either 2 lb or 3 lb
TAP extreme duty mini-medicine balls in a set of 3 lb, 4 lb, 5 lb, 6 lb, 7 lb, and 8 lb
TAP extreme duty mini-medicine balls in a set of 6lb, 7lb, and 8lb
For more videos of juggling or juggling and multitasking, visit my YouTube channel