The new year tends to bring with it a familiar pack of resolutions. [To get the ball rolling, I'm hyperlinking to resources to help facilitate the corresponding goal.] 

These are all good and wise resolutions to pursue in 2015. And, a number of retailers and gym chains in January will be seeking the dollars of consumers who have resolved to get fit. 

Granted, there are benefits to having a trainer to instruct you in form and technique to avoid injury (among other helpful reasons). There also are a number of reasons to tackle fitness now. 

Winter – in all its cold, precipitative glory – has not yet hit Maryland. The concept of fitness, in addition to improving quality of life and reducing the onset or risk of diseases for as long as possible, also extends toward the ability to better perform day-to-day tasks. 

One of these tasks, as winter advances, is snow shoveling. But shoveling for someone who is chronically inactive can pose health risks. It also is easier to get into the habit of, say, jogging outside (if that activity appeals to you the most) before the year is at its absolute coldest, which tends to be in January.

Free time – for many of us – tends to be in shorter supply in December. Whether it’s office and social holiday parties, family gatherings and (on occasion) shopping, it can be a challenge to plan to pack gym clothes in the car to swing by a gym or park before or after work – which is precisely the reason to start doing so now. In January, while Resolution exercisers are struggling to become active and to learn how to use the gym equipment, you will have gotten into the habit of doing so a month earlier. You will be less likely to gain weight associated with winter holidays – which tends to stick​.  And, in January, you will be able to appreciate having more time with which to enjoy your newfound exercising. 

Food choices play a principal role in health outcomes and fitness success. It is a lot easier to tackle making better food choices, once you have begun to make the physical demands of your body that come from exercise. It also is easier to focus on developing good habits consecutively than it is to master them simultaneously. Ever wonder why it’s hard to keep a handful of resolutions? Because we tend to try to establish and keep them all at the same time. If you tackle exercising this month and eating better in January (or vice versa), your success with both should be greater. Some studies suggest it takes even longer than a month or two to establish a habit. So, start small and give yourself the time to cement good fitness habits into your life. 

But start today.