Reaction time is critical in sports and life

By David Tepera, December 11, 2019

There’s no doubt, athletes with the best reaction time usually conquer opponents. Think about a baseball batter reacting to a pitch thrown around 90 mph. You have to make a split decision if it’s a strike, ball, curve, slider, inside, outside and so on. You might not have heard of him, but Tim Anderson of the White Sox led the MLB in 2019 season with a batting average of .335.

You can put every sport possible into the category of reaction time. While following my daughter Daylyn’s volleyball career, I was always impressed how the girls could dig out a spike to keep the ball in play. These were game-winning reaction times.

For those of you who are getting into the older population as I am, the slowing and diminishing of our reaction time is frustrating. At the age of 58, my mind is still quick, but for some reason, my body can’t catch up. I have found myself a little more clumsy and less coordinated than I like to admit.

One component of our weight lifting system for our older clients is to improve body rhythm and coordination. Every single one of them make drastic improvements, including higher energy levels.

Look, we can’t stop Father Time, but we can sure slow him down. If you find yourself in the same category as I, and I’m sure you do, then do something about it. It is never too late to start exercising and lifting weights. Yes, I said “lift weights.”

Without getting too scientific, your muscles are made of fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fibers. Lifting weights builds more fast twitch muscle fibers, which increases reaction times. Performing long bouts of cardio only produces slow twitch muscle fibers, which mostly improves oxygen function.

One of our clients, 74-year-old Paul Hoggatt, has been with us for several months. He’s not only getting stronger, but Hoggatt’s speed and reaction time has created a more youthful appearance. Hoggatt definitely has more “gid in his giddyup.” Just know, Hoggatt has never missed session, and his consistency has paid off.

Now, what about you? Have you thrown in the towel? Have you accepted getting older and just withering away, or are you ready to put your gloves on and come out swinging? Believe me, everyday I’m punching Father Time in the face. He might be able to slap me, but I’m throwing punches.

Don’t wait until tomorrow, no more excuses, and start exercising to get back your reaction time because it’s critical.

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