Tag Archives: truth

Critical thinking and fitness

If there is one thing the fitness world could use more of, it is critical thinking. What is critical thinking? According to Wikipedia: “Critical thinking is a type of reasonable, reflective thinking that is aimed at deciding what to believe or what to do.[1] It is a way of deciding whether a claim is always true, sometimes true, partly true, or false.”

One of the best ways to improve our critical thinking abilities is to try to remove biases or lapses in judgment that corrupt our thinking. Biases can all too often lead to wrong conclusions, and this can sometimes be dangerous when it comes to fitness or health. A lot of these biases, or “thinking errors” have names to help you identify them.

Here are a couple of examples:

Gambler’s fallacy – the tendency to think that future probabilities are altered by past events, when in reality they are unchanged. Results from an erroneous conceptualization of the law of large numbers. For example, “I’ve flipped heads with this coin five times consecutively, so the chance of tails coming out on the sixth flip is much greater than heads.

Confirmation bias – the tendency to search for or interpret information or memories in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions.

Here is a more complete list of the various biases, to help make you a better critical thinker – List of biases in judgment and decision making

You don’t have to learn all of them, but study a few every day and it can help you with not just fitness but with how you approach just about anything in life.

How juggling is very different from other forms of exercise

I hope everyone is having a good year so far. I am slowly improving my juggling technique and want to share my impressions of the road to getting to advanced juggling and the benefits of juggling.

One of the worst things about juggling is it is very unforgiving of poor technique and effort. But this is also one of the best things about juggling. Not giving it your all means you are much more likely to drop the balls. You can’t fool yourself into thinking you are putting in more effort than you really are.

It is often too easy to fool yourself with other forms of exercise, while walking or even running, on certain exercises machines, or doing martial arts or dance aerobics, etc. In this way, jumping rope is similar to juggling in that you can’t get away with poor technique – the rope will eventually catch your leg if you do it wrong. This is one of the reasons I sometimes recommend jumping rope as a prerequisite to fitness juggling. The rope won’t lie to you. In juggling, the balls won’t lie to you either. A good juggling form is a thing of beauty, and in beauty there is truth.

This makes juggling balls one of the best, most accurate feedback mechanisms when it comes to fitness. They are an excellent teacher for so many different exercisers, even if juggling or joggling isn’t their main form of exercise. This would probably make joggling one of the best forms of cross-training for running – since joggling is less forgiving of bad posture than running, it would be a good idea to use your joggler’s posture while running, to ensure good form. Screenshot-MVI_0579.AVI-2

Good form and coordination requires you to pay attention, to use your brain. Juggling is one of the very few exercises outside of playing some sports that targets your brain. Studies even show brain growth in parts of the brain that control movement. Think of the brain like a muscle – use it or lose it. It would require a whole series of posts or even a dissertation to explain why juggling is so neglected in the fitness world, and how to overcome this.