Improve Reaction Time, Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Best Ways to Improve Reaction Time

Best Ways to Improve Reaction Time

A detailed guide on reaction time, it’s process, and the factors affecting it. If you think that your reaction time is slow and you’re looking to improve it, this article lays down some of the best tips for that.

Why is reaction time important?

Having a good reaction time allows you to be agile and efficient when responding to a stimulus. It can be simple reactions like when driving or having a conversation, to complex reactions involving major decisions of life. It is essential to perceive the information received in the right manner because that largely affects your reaction time- a good response time benefits in a variety of ways. You can defend yourself from attackers and be more responsive to your surroundings.

What is reaction time?

Reaction time is a measure of how quickly our brain responds to some sort of stimulus. All our senses are engaged in a variety of ways. Sometimes, it’s just one sense that responds, such as when you close your eyes in response to bright light. In most of the other times, multiple senses are involved igniting sensory reactions. This stimulation sends a signal to the central and peripheral nervous systems. This delivers the information to the rest of the body that needs to respond. Reaction time refers to the amount of time between perceiving something and responding to it. So, reaction time is the ability to detect, process, and respond to a situation.

Why is my reaction time slow?

Reaction time depends on a variety of factors. Some people can react quickly to their surroundings, whereas some cannot. Luckily, reaction time can be trained and improved with time and practice. If you are tense on why your reaction time is slow, you can strengthen it with some lifestyle changes.

Factors affecting your reflexes

Before diving into how to improve reaction time, you need to understand the factors that go behind it. Having a fast reaction time means that your brain is quick in sending messages to your body parts, in order to make further movements.

There are various factors that affect your reaction time:

1) Complexity of the stimulus:

Sometimes, a stimulus can be complex to perceive, and you might take time to understand it, thereby leading to slower reaction time. Therefore, the more complex a stimulus, the more information needs to be processed and requires a longer speed time. Think of your reaction time when asked “what is 2+2?”. Since it’s simple, your reaction time is much quicker than if I asked you “what is 17 x 35?”. The more complex the stimulus, the longer the reaction time.

2) Familiarity and preparation:

Responding to a known stimulus takes less time as compared to a new one. When you have already responded to a stimulus, you need to process less information, so you will be able to react quickly.

3) State of the person:

The organism’s condition is very important in deciding the reacting time. If a person is filled with fatigue or low attention, he will take a long time to react. Whereas, with someone who is energetic and active throughout, will react quickly to his surroundings.

4) Mode of information:

Reaction time is shorter when the information triggered is through audio than visual. Hence, each mode of information requires a different reaction time.

Ways to Improve Reaction Time

1) The right nutrition:

It is an unsaid fact that balanced brain functioning is essential for faster reaction times. Having a proper diet that nourishes your brain and body helps in improving your motor skill and reflexes. Foods like berries and pomegranate are a good source of vitamins and help in the proper functioning of your brain. Moreover, caffeine and reaction time also share a positive relationship. So go ahead and have a cup of joe before entering the stimulus.

2) Relax:

It is an unsaid fact that balanced brain functioning is essential for faster reaction times. Having a proper diet that nourishes your brain and body helps in improving your motor skill and reflexes. Foods like berries and pomegranate are a good source of vitamins and help in the proper functioning of your brain. Moreover, caffeine and reaction time also share a positive relationship. So go ahead and have a cup of joe before entering the stimulus.

3) Play video games:

Video games are a fun and effective way to improve your reaction time. Video games are not only about staring at the screens throughout, but it also involves a lot of your brain. It is because they require gamers to be agile, active, and speedy. Numerous studies have shown that video games have helped people make decisions faster, be able to multitask and have a great reaction time. Moreover, they also develop a sensitivity to their surroundings and react strongly in all the situations.

4) Pick up a sport:

Sports are a super-effective way to improve your reaction time. It involves constant movement, coordination with team members, etc., so much so that you need to be agile throughout the game. While it may begin with a game initially, this quick reaction would soon become a part of you. Your reaction time would improve drastically and become an involuntary response to any stimuli. However, picking up a sport may sound easy but practicing it regularly is challenging. If you are new to sports, pick up an easy one, to begin with, and eventually challenge yourself with high-action sports.

5) Cognitive exercises:

Increasing reaction time enquires you to strengthen your brain. By keeping your brain engaged and active with various puzzles can be a good way to begin. Moreover, cognitive exercises are a great way to improve reaction time. It can be a simple brain teaser or exploring new ways of doing the same thing- anything that keeps your brain engaged. This activity in your brain boosts its growth, eventually improving your reaction time. You can also download apps like “Peak” or “Lumosity” to help.

6) Physical exercises:

Wondering if physical activity can help improve your reaction time? Well, you are right! There are plenty of reaction time exercises, which allows the brain to process its reaction quickly. Exercises like ladder drills, plyometric, agility drills, and other athletic exercises, etc., are directly related to speed and quick reaction, and forces your body to respond to your brain signals faster. Hence, they are a great way of improving your reaction speed.

Takeaways

Reaction time can be improved through lifestyle and physical changes. A faster reaction time is essential for safe mobility and healthy grooming. Cognitive exercises, nutritious food, and other healthy practices can healthily boost your reaction time, and give you the edge that you’re looking for.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kaivan Dave is an Entrepreneur. Who is passionate about eCommerce, Branding, and Leadership.

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