48368400_M (2)It is not your imagination. As we settle into winter, you are probably feeling it in your bones, as your grandmother probably puts it. Joints stiffen, muscles cry “Uncle!” and the last thing you feel like doing is the workout that might turn it around.

In fact, if you are like most of us, winter probably brings out the instinct to hibernate, or at least become more sedentary as temperatures drop.

And there is good reason for that. Your body, always looking out for you, contracts muscles and blood vessels as it tries to keep your core warm in harsh weather, and reduces blood flow to your extremities.

And it doesn’t feel good! So, what can you do to weather winter? Here is a good place to start:

• Schedule a visit with your chiropractor. Putting everything in balance is important on several levels, from restoring mobility to sharpening the connection between your brain and the rest of the body through the central nervous system sheathed in your spine.

• Heading out? Give yourself enough time to warm up your muscles, stretching as you would before taking a run. What you might not realize is that something as simple as shoveling the walk is as taxing on your body as an extreme workout, especially if you haven’t been so active in the first place. The 15 to 20 minutes you put in now can prevent the spasms and sprains that come with taut muscles. And give yourself time, when you are back, to do some cooling-down stretches. It really makes a difference!

• Ready to face the icy blast? Layer your clothes, opting for fabrics that wick moisture away your body. Grab a hat; the heat lost through the head could trigger your body’s rescue mode. And the season’s best accessories are gloves and boots.

• Want still another benefit? The added activity, along with being outdoors, can help you fight the depression that can come with winter. Whether it is cabin fever, seasonal affective disorder, or simple depression, it responds to your body’s well-being. And coming full circle, that starts with a visit to your chiropractor!