Column: Personal fitness? Start in bed

What are three things you should enjoy in bed? Stuck on the third? Here are a few hints: read, rest, phone and text. If you picked “smoking,” then you can stop reading now. If you thought “eating,” then please keep an eye out for the future weight management article.

The correct and perhaps surprising answer? Exercise.

Don’t stagger out of bed to start your day. Stay there for a few minutes while still warm and comfortable and commit to 10 minutes of simple stretches.

This approach is straightforward relative to any options I know, but its ease is deceptive. There is nothing minor about making this effort a daily routine. And, by the way, it will bring energy to start your day.

We’re not talking about a “no pain, no gain” approach to exercise. This plan requires no cost, no schedule, no equipment, no getting dressed and no stress (where are those shoes and car keys?) and no excuse.

I started this new approach following recent back surgery and it works. You avoid all the time and effort of any other exercise options I have found. If you do this, it becomes as natural as brushing your teeth.

What are you losing by devoting this small slice of your day? Sure, you might miss a few minutes of news — thus avoiding (or at least delaying) learning about the most recent crisis or slap.

• Start as you lie on your back.

• Bring your knees up.

• Gently press your pelvis into the mattress.

• Follow up with knee stretches and leg lifts.

Your body will give you plenty of feedback to know how far to go. If it doesn’t feel good, quit and change the position.

Timing how long is less important than the discipline of doing something. The best plan is to do this every day and gradually add exercises and time.

This simple, daily commitment is a foundation for improving your fitness.

If this gets you started, what’s the next step? We want that to be something easy and enjoyable to do. Even if your goal is running the Shelter Island 10K and more, this exercise method will contribute all the benefits of running and few of the risks.

Check in on the next column for the details.

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