Most of us aren’t born ambidextrous. In fact, only 1% of the population are truly fluent with both their right and left hands. But for the rest of us, you can strengthen your nondominant hand for better posture and balance—and join the likes of Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Queen Victoria, all reportedly ambidextrous individuals. What better day to start than Left Handers Day?
Lefties and righties unite: here are things you can try out today:
1. Switch up day-to-day tasks.
Sure, the default way to strengthen your other hand is to write with it. But it’s discouraging to see handwriting that looks worse than a kindergartener’s. Instead, try brushing your teeth, mixing pancake batter or using your computer mouse with your nondominant hand.
2. Try it at work.
Many right-handed individuals tend to cross their left leg over their right while sitting. And because we sit most of the day at work, being more conscious of placing equal weight on both sides can improve both balance and posture. You can also switch your computer mouse to the other side and customize the buttons, so if you like the primary button under your index finger you can keep it that way.
Stress balls are a great way to bump up muscles in your hand, and they can release muscle tension simultaneously. Similarly, practicing sports—bouncing a basketball, tennis, throwing a baseball—is another way to relieve stress while increasing the usefulness of the weaker hand.
While it won’t happen overnight, if you stick to practicing a little bit each day with the “other” hand, you’ll slowly see improvement, and eventually be able to write a paragraph worthy of a gold star and a prominent spot on your refrigerator.
What other ways have you tried to strengthen your nondominant hand? If you are ambidextrous, how do you find it benefits you?