Whether you want to improve your reflexes for sports, or maybe just want to improve your speed in responding, there are actually several practice and ways that you can do!
Reflex is a muscle reaction to external stimuli caused by nerve impulses. For example, when you see a baseball approaching your head, your brain sends a signal to your hand to block the ball before it hits you.
Good reflexes contribute to performance in sports, sports, and daily physical activities, such as crossing the road or driving a car.
There are people whose reflexes are fast from birth, while for others, it is necessary to practice to make their reaction times to stimuli faster. Below, you’ll find a variety of techniques that will help you improve your reaction times.
Part #1: Improve Your Reflexes With Mental Exercises
Improve your peripheral vision. In order to get fast reaction times, you need to be very aware of what’s going to happen. You can pay more attention to your peripheral vision during daily activities to strengthen your ability to understand obstacles and flying objects.
1. Look Through a Nice Looking Window and Focus on a Distant Object
Don’t stop looking at it and, at the same time, slowly gain a greater awareness of the objects surrounding it on each side. Practice this exercise once a day and, each time, expand your visual field a little more. Over time, you will adopt the habit of noticing more objects in your peripheral vision.
Make an effort to pay attention to objects that appear in your peripheral vision when walking or driving. You can practice telling how fast people’s hair colour is, as well as the make and style of the cars that pass by you. Search online for videos of martial arts techniques used to improve peripheral vision.
2. Play Video Games
To play video games well, you need good manual eye coordination, because you need to be able to switch from thinking to action without stopping or, otherwise, you will quickly lose the game.
According to certain studies, playing video games a few minutes a day can be beneficial for improving reflexes. Often times, it’s the first-person shooting video games and role-playing games that require the most coordination, although any video game will be useful
3. Try Hypnosis
In some cases, people have found that a hypnotic technique known as neurolinguistic programming helps to increase awareness of certain objects, which gives them the feeling that time passes more slowly and they have enough time to react.
Think of a sports film in which the quarterback in American football observes a ball making slow motion at it. Of course, in reality the ball doesn’t move any slower, but neurolinguistics programming, according to those who practice it, can make it appear this way.
4. Practice Mindfulness
Meditation or regular concentration in the present can help you cultivate mindfulness. Clear your mind and try to focus all of your attention on what’s going on in your immediate environment. Don’t pay attention to thoughts related to the past or future, but focus directly on what you can see, hear, and feel in the present.
In this way, you can develop awareness of your surroundings so that you can observe more things and perhaps react more quickly in situations.
Part #2: Improve Your Reflexes With Physical Exercise
1. Practice catching the bouncing rubber ball or “reaction ball”
The latter is a six-sided rubber ball that bounces at an unexpected angle and one you can find at most sporting goods stores.
Throw one of these balls (or a simple bouncing ball from a vending machine) over the outside wall, concentrating on catching it as it bounces back at you. As your reaction times improve, throw the ball with more force and consider yourself a challenge to jump and dive to catch it.
2. Play Jacks
If one day you feel like doing something simpler, you can try a set of Jacks. This is a classic game for kids consisting of a small ball and twelve metal pieces.
To start, bounce the ball a little and collect as many matatas as possible. Take on the challenge of bouncing faster as you improve in this game. Another way to increase difficulty is to set the Jacks at a greater distance from each other.
3. Play Custody Ball With a Partner
For this exercise, you need to get a large rubber or foam ball and a partner. Stand in front of a wall (can be in the gym or outdoors in front of a building). Your partner should throw the ball from about 3 m (10 feet) away when you need to practice dodging. You can ask your partner to throw it at a faster speed and from a closer distance as you dodge the ball better.
- You can make this exercise more difficult by pointing the second person to throw another ball quickly after you have dodged it.
- To make the game more unpredictable, you can ask those who throw the ball to pretend to do it, to throw it from a different angle, etc.
- Another excellent option for improving your reflexes is to play resistance ball as a team sport. You can practice dodging balls and kicks that are thrown at you.
4. Try Table Tennis
This sport, is excellent as a way to improve reflexes and manual-eye coordination. You can find tables or boards to put on the table, relatively affordable either online or at sporting goods stores.
You can also join a local table tennis club or group so you can face different playmates and challenge yourself even more as you work to improve your reflexes.
If this is your first time playing table tennis, it may be beneficial to join a local group or club, as it will allow you to understand the basics of the game, such as form and skill development.
5. Choose a Sport and Practice it Regularly
There are many sports, such as hockey, tennis, badminton, badminton and lacrosse that are excellent for helping you develop your reflexes.
You will have to find some athletic activities that require manipulating an object, such as a ball, using a tool, such as a racket or stick. Usually, this exercise demands quick reaction times and will help you develop your reflexes as well as your situational awareness.
6. Run Along a Nature Trail
Running through the woods requires no special equipment or a sports partner, so it can be the easiest way to get started in the process of improving your reflexes. All you have to do is find the closest nature trail (preferably one that varies in terrain rather than wide) and start running.
The irregular points of support and the uncertainty of roots and stones that you have to avoid will produce a variety of stimuli to which your body must react quickly. Your reflexes will become faster the more you practice this path.
- Start running at low speed. Over time, as you feel your reflexes improve, you can demand more by increasing your speed. It’s important that you start running slowly, because, on natural trails, you usually have a higher risk of injury.
- Choose a different path where possible to change things a little. By getting too used to a single path, your brain will remember obstacles, so you won’t improve your reflexes.
- If there is no natural path near where you live, you can run along the same path, but vice versa.
Part #3: Negotiate Sensory Self-Care
1. Eat Nutritious Food
To have fast reflexes, it is very important that your body and brain are in the best possible way. Foods high in refined sugars and trans fats can make you feel lazy, so you should eat enough protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.
- Processed or processed foods, such as nuts, fish, berries, leafy vegetables and garlic, improve cognitive function.
- You must also drink enough water. This is because dehydration can cause lethargy and reduce reaction time.
2. Consider Taking Supplements
There are certain nutritional supplements that are well known for improving reflexes. Among the dietary supplements that are said to be suitable for improving cognitive function and reaction time are ginseng, ginkgo, vitamin B12, vitamin C and omega 3.
3. Sleep Well
The US National Institutes of Health (NIH, for its acronym in English) asserts that sleep helps increase reflex speed and leads to higher levels of performance than you should be getting. When you are sleepy, your body and brain function more slowly, which affects your reaction time. When you rest after sleeping between 7 and 9 hours, your reflexes are at their fastest.
- Deep sleep includes between four or five sleep cycles. Each consists of periods of deep sleep and rapid eye movement (REM). In total, this amounts to between 7 and 9 hours in one night.
- If you haven’t been able to sleep well the night before an important race or match, you can take a nap a few hours beforehand so you can be more alert when you’re doing.
- Keep in mind that certain movements will become more reflexive as you practice them. To catch a baseball better, for example, it is best to practice over and over until you can do it without thinking.
- If you bruise easily on your skin, you can ask your partner in the prisoner to throw the ball close to your body and not directly at you. This way, you can still dodge and practice making your reaction times faster.
- Before running on the trail, you must make sure that you are wearing the right shoes. While you can get special shoes for track running, a good pair of shoes in ordinary weather conditions will suffice.
- With a partner or a friend, practice throwing the ball between you. Use soft balls for that so they can move faster.
- Before taking any new dietary supplements, you should consult your doctor as people with certain medical problems should not take some of these supplements.
- When doing exercises that involve throwing a ball, you can wear protective eyewear, such as sports goggles.