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How can I Improve Reflexes?

Exercise conditioning may help basketball players develop greater agility.
Sports drills, like soccer kicking drills, can help improve your reflexes.
Short sprints run at top speed on a track can help improve an athlete's reflex time.
Playing basketball requires intense concentration to master and can be used to improve your reflexes.
More sleep, including naps during the day, allows the body time to heal itself.
Racquetball improves the reflexes, for the young and old.
Tennis requires intense concentration and quick reflexes.
Article Details
  • Written By: Amy Hunter
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 December 2014
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There are a variety of ways to improve reflexes. Some are specific exercises geared toward speeding up response time, while others are everyday activities that can make response to stimuli quicker. The best way to improve reflexes is to do a variety of these activities, mixing them up so that the body does not become too accustomed to any one schedule.

Video games are one way to improve reflexes. Playing video games helps the brain quickly shift between thought and action. While some of the video games that are specifically designed to exercise the brain are a great choice, nearly any sort of video game will engage the mind on a variety of levels. This is what is necessary to improve reflexes.

Sports-specific drills are another great way to improve reflexes. The sports-specific drills do not need to be in a sport that you normally participate in. Basketball running and dribbling drills, soccer kicking drills and even short, fast sprints on the track can all speed your reaction time.

Play a sport that requires intense concentration. This is different than sports-specific drills. While sports-specific drills may last only ten or fifteen minutes each session, playing a sport can allow you to devote an hour or more to improving your reflexes. Racquetball, tennis and basketball all require intense concentration to master. The caveat to this is that if your playing partners are significantly better or worse than you, the benefits will not be as great.

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There are a variety of lifestyle matters that can work to slow your response time. If, after working to improve reflexes for a few weeks, you do not notice some improvements, you should look at lifestyle factors that may be holding you back. They include diet, sleep and stress.

Many people that are looking to improve their response time are also athletes. They may be watching their diet carefully and even restricting calories. This can be counterproductive. If your body does not have enough fuel, it must ration how it is used. Without enough calories, your body will not move as quickly as it should, and your brain will be sluggish.

Lack of quality sleep is another factor that can slow response time. Four or five hours of sleep is not enough for most people. Seven to eight hours gives your body much more time to recuperate and heal itself. This is particularly important for people who train their bodies strenuously. Added sleep, such as with a short nap during the day, can be especially beneficial.

Stress is the final obstacle in the quest to improve reflexes. While it isn’t always possible to eliminate stress, effectively dealing with it can be almost as good. Yoga, meditation and relaxing walks all help reduce stress. A warm bath before bed can help reduce the tossing and turning that come with a stress-filled life. If stress becomes unbearable, consider visiting a counselor or other professional for advice.

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