Whether you suffer from balance issues, feeling the effects of aging, suffer complications from mobility, or are an athlete, you will benefit by engaging in reaction time training. Let’s discuss how to improve reaction time.

How to improve reaction time
Reaction Time Training Essential in Aging Populations, Those with Balance and Mobility Issues, as Well as Athletes

What is “Reaction Time”?

According to professionals, our “reaction time” is the time interval that occurs between the presence of some type of stimulus and the muscular-based response to the said stimulus.

Each stimulus presented results in their own response. Therefore, if only one stimulus presents itself, the reaction time will be relatively short; whereas, if multiple stimuli are present, the reaction time will occur over a longer period of time.

If you want to know how to improve reaction time – to both a single stimulus or multiple stimuli – you should engage in reaction time training.

Balance Rehab

Why is Reaction Time Important?

Due to the fact that the reaction time is the overall length of time it takes for a person to respond to various stimuli that they encounter throughout their lives, it is a critical skill for all people.

Reaction time is a component of moving from one area to another, driving, engaging in exercise and sports, emergency-type situations, and other activities of daily living.

The length of time that it takes to react depends heavily upon the signal pathways and the nerve-based connections within our body and our mind.

The brain and the nerves allow us to react to stimuli in both a physical and a cognitive manner. As we age, our reaction times naturally slow. If we suffer from medical conditions, our reaction times will likely slow. If our mobility and balance is hindered, reaction times suffer.

If we are athletes, we depend on reaction time to achieve success in our given sport. To perform optimally – regardless of our situation – we must focus on how to improve reaction time.

Reaction Time Sports

What Factors Influence Our Reaction Times?

There are several factors that have a direct influence over our reaction times. Remember, because this response time is the correlation between how long it takes to react and the muscle movement response of the body, we must place an emphasis on specialized training to improve. As the old adage states, “Practice makes perfect”. The following may impact our ability to react:

  • Our age
  • Our gender
  • Our state of mind
  • Our physical fitness levels
  • Time that is available to respond
  • Various movements involved
  • How intense the stimulus/stimuli is
  • Anticipation
  • Our life experiences
  • Our overall health
  • If we are cold or hot
  • If we are an introvert or extrovert
  • How alert we are
  • The overall strength of the muscles
  • Our neural pathway lengths and functionality

The Source of Reaction Time

Our reaction times start with the nervous system. It involves both the peripheral nervous system, as well as the central nervous system.

A stimulus results in a signal.  This signal is dependent upon our senses.

It could be a visual signal, an auditory signal, a tactile signal, a taste signal, or a signal that stimulates our sense of smell. In short, a signal is a type of electrical impulse that is typically processed by the nervous system.

The brain interprets and allows us to decide how to handle the signal. Then, it is transferred to the neurons in our body that are responsible for motor movements. These are connected to our muscles and allow us to properly execute a response from the muscles.

What is the Difference Between a Reaction Time and a Reflex?

For many, “reaction time” and “reflex” mean the same thing; however, these bodily responses are quite different. Reflexes are those responses that are designed to help in protecting us from any type of harm.

These help in ensuring stability of the body.

Reflexes are processed by the spinal cord only because the reaction time of the reflexes must be more quick than standard reaction times. Reaction times to stimulus is processed through the brain, then the spinal cord. Reaction times are what ignite fine motor movements of the muscles.

Reflexes are part of the negative-based feedback loop that aids in protecting the body.

The PPR of Reaction Time

A solid reaction time is dependent on PPR; that is, “perception”, “processing”, and “response”. You must be able to see, to hear, or to feel the stimulus that you are presented with in order to have optimal reaction time.

Additionally, you must be able to understand – cognitively – the information that you are presented with in order to respond appropriately.

Finally, you must have good motor-based agility to have a good reaction time. Your ability to respond quickly to a stimulus depends on your ability to perceive, to process that which you receive, and the response of your brain, nerves, and muscles.

Types of Stimuli

In short, there are three different types of stimuli that you may find yourself presented with. Below, you will find an outline of these, as well as a short description of each:

  1. Simple Stimuli – This is a single stimulus that requires only a single response.
  2. Choice Stimuli – This type includes multiple stimuli that will require more than one response.
  3. Selection Stimuli – This involves different types of stimuli, but only one response.

Optimal reaction time allows each of us to possess a high level of agility and efficiency. It does not matter if it is a reaction time in a conversation, in driving, or to exercising. All people of all ages can experience numerous benefits by having an optimal reaction time. This is why it is important to engage in reaction time training. It helps you to respond to people, situations, and events in a quick and accurate manner.

The good news is, everyone’s reaction time can be improved. You just need the proper tools and resources to improve it.


SMARTfit™ to the Rescue!

Do you want to train your brain and body to react quickly?  If so, you will benefit from engaging in SMARTfit™ training!

This advanced workout product is designed to present you with programs that aid in training both the brain and the body. When using this, the program that you work with will be designed specifically for your needs and will advance as you are able to advance.

The movements that you will perform with this machine will help to properly ignite your cognitive skills, motor skills, and all of the associated functional-based movements. By combining the elements of neurogenesis and neuroplasticity, you can drastically improve your reaction time.

Contact Us Today

Here at Back to Motion, we believe in the power and strength behind fast reaction times. We can help you improve the rate in which you process information and the speed in which you are able to properly respond to that information. By combining the elements of physical therapy, exercise, and our newly-integrated SMARTfit™ workout system, you can reach new levels of success in balance, mobility, strength, and coordination.

You can optimize your cognitive ability to your sensory-motor ability in order to exercise better, recover more quickly, prevent injuries, and process information more quickly. If you have an interest in engaging in reaction time training, now is the time to get started!

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