As the new year approaches many people begin to think about their new year’s resolutions. Oftentimes those resolutions include things like exercising more, losing weight and leading a healthier lifestyle.
As with many things, sometimes we start out with good intentions about our new year’s resolutions when the year begins, but as time goes by we become less and less enamored of going for that run or hitting the gym.
Well maybe there’s another alternative to getting fit and staying healthy.
About six years ago Jim Badertscher, a former educator who now owns a farm in Blanchardville, came up with the Never Touch Bottom program, a personalized fitness activity to get himself in better physical condition.
The Never Touch Bottom exercise regime simply consists of treading water in a waist deep area of a pool, while keeping your hands, arms and feet below the surface the entire time with your head always above the water. Participants can then choose the amount of time they want to spend doing the exercise.
“A minute or two to begin is fine, and as comfort level improves, extend the time and the strategies used to never touch the bottom or the sides of the pool while striving toward a timed goal,” said Badertscher.
The beauty of this exercise is that anyone can do it. “It’s a super safe thing to do,” said Badertscher. “But you have to depend on yourself to do it and the water provides a gentle resistance for absolutely everything,” he added.
Badertscher partakes in this exercise about three times a week with at least one session per week taking place in the pool at the Super 8 in Darlington.
“The pool is a great resource and I think that hardly anyone uses the pool here,” said Badertscher. “It’s a fun and inexpensive way to exercise and it applies to so many people for so many different reasons.”
Personally Badertscher has experienced a variety of improved aspects of health as a result of Never Touch Bottom.
Significant weight loss, muscle toning, on the mark heart rate, blood sugar and pressure, major improvements with cholesterol rations, no pain or stiffness—even with 10-15 fractures through the years and easier breathing were all improvements Badertscher saw in the six years he has participated in Never Touch Bottom.
At this point Badertscher does the exercise for about an hour and a half, three days a week. And he listens to music while he treads, which he said can help with rhythm and movement.
Badertscher explained that there’s a variety of ways to participate in this exercise—on your stomach, on your sides, on your back—it doesn’t really matter, as long as you’re keeping your limbs below the surface while treading the water. “You could even pedal like you’re on a stationary bike,” added Badertscher. It’s all up to you.
This exercise would also be a good way to help kids learn to swim. “It’s definitely a safe way to do that,” said Badertscher. “You can start off with flotation devices to begin with if you need to and go from there.”
Never Touch Bottom is the goal within the pool for the exercise, but it can also be a theme that people can carry into their everyday lives as well.
“The name Never Touch Bottom also carries a sound message,” said Badertscher. “Using yourself as a resource, make strategic choices that will get you to where you want to be…whether it’s reaching a timed goal in the water or working through challenges of life issues.”
The motto applies to things like character, value and goal setting both in and out of the pool and it’s a theme that can be applied in schools to groups and teams or just as an individual.
Strategies and decisions you make affect you, when you’re striving for a healthier way of life in the pool or just in how you conduct yourself in life as well, explained Badertscher.
“The nation is screaming for a healthier lifestyle, more jobs and activity. The concept of never touching bottom can help. Every age group can go into waist deep water,” said Badertscher.
In Badertscher’s opinion the national impact of Never Touch Bottom is unlimited, but personally he just doesn’t have the motivation to be a salesperson and push it to its complete potential.
“People keep pushing me to make this bigger, but I just don’t want to get involved with all of the marketing and everything that goes along with it,” he said. “Nationally though, Never Touch Bottom really has the potential to create thousands of jobs, whether refurbishing vacant warehouses into low depth pools or teaching individuals or small groups about a remarkable lifelong fitness/motivational commitment.”
Although Badertscher isn’t very interested in pushing a large scale promotion of Never Touch Bottom, a website has been created that explains how to get started with Never Touch Bottom and the many benefits that come from the activity. The website is located at www.nevertouchbottom.com.
Badertscher also has an informational DVD available with an introduction to Never Touch Bottom as well as instructions.