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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Quick! Activities can improve your reflexes

Alison Johnson Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)

Quick reaction times are important in sports, driving and everyday life. While genetics play a role in each person’s ability, there are ways to hone your skills:

•Throw against a wall. Toss a tennis ball or a small “super ball” – one of those high-bouncing, rubbery toys kids often get as party favors – and try to catch or dodge it as it returns. Over time, move closer to the wall or throw harder.

•Be a goalie. Have someone try to throw an object past you while you block with your hands. Indoors, you can use a soft ball (a Nerf, for example) or even a pillow. The other person can move closer or further away depending on how you do.

•Pick up a racquet sport. Tennis, racquetball, squash and ping-pong all require quick reflexes.

•Or try a martial art. Karate and similar classes are great for hand-eye coordination.

•Play catch. Any type of ball will do. Some baseball players paint different letters or colors on each ball and try to call those out as it speeds toward them.

•Run in an unfamiliar place. Grab a buddy and hit a wooded trail you’ve never seen before, where you have to react to obstacles and changing terrain with every step.

•Strengthen peripheral vision. Focus on a distant object and work to expand how much you can see off to the sides. You also can quickly alternate looking at a far object and a near one.

•Act like a kid. Play a fast-paced video game, learn to juggle or play with a yo-yo.

•Live healthfully. Without nutritious foods, plenty of water, regular exercise and a good amount of sleep, the brain gets sluggish.

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