One of the best ways to not be so miserable about winter is to get out and play some winter sports. Snowshoeing, skiing or even a winter hike through the woods. The very brave even keep up their summer running routine. And we applaud those people.

Enter Karen Kwan, freelance writer, founder of healthandswellness.com and avid runner (she’s only run two marathons and ten half-marathons. Only). In fact, she says she prefers winter running to summer running. “You can always layer on more gear to keep warm. Nothing much you can do in a heat wave to greatly change how you feel when running.”

If you’re thinking of following in Kwan's footsteps (and we’ll applaud you too), you can refer to her must-have list of winter running items.

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  • Warm Gloves

    “My fingers always freeze up first! Bonus if the gloves have touchscreen-friendly fingerpads so I can operate my iPhone,” says winter runner Karen Kwan. Kwan uses the Nike running app, so iPhone access is handy. <i>Shown here</i>: <a href="http://shop.lululemon.com/products/clothes-accessories/what-the-fluff/Womens-Brisk-Run-Gloves-28732?cc=8524&sli=1">Brisk Run Gloves</a>, $28, Lululemon

  • Winter Running Tights

    “Cold air travels up pants legs, so I stick to tights.” Kwan advises that on really cold days, it's worth it to layer a pair of track pants over top. <i>Shown here</i>: <a href="http://ca.shop.runningroom.com/women/apparel/winter-warm-tights.html">The North Face Warm Winter Tights</a>, $89.99, Running Room

  • A Good Base Layer

    “A soft, sweat-wicking base layer, over which I layer more tech-fabric tops. The number of which depends on the temperature and how windy it is," says Kwan. <i>Shown here</i>: <a href="http://www.sportchek.ca/product/index.jsp?productId=12395292">Helly Hansen Pace Long Sleeve 1/2 Zip Top</a>, $59.99, SportChek

  • A Running Jacket

    “One that’s wind resistant and keeps rain and snow out.” Kwan says she tries to skip running on days when it’s just too wet out. She also thinks a jacket with a reflective design is pretty cool. So cars can spot you better. <i>Shown here</i>: <a href="http://www.nike.com/ca/en_ca/c/running/element-shield-max-jacket">Nike Element Shield Max Jacket</a>, approximately $200

  • Sport Socks

    “I mostly wear ankle socks for running, but in the winter you want ones with more height that overlap with your running tights or you risk cold ankles,” says Kwan. <i>Shown here</i>: <a href="http://www.thorlo.com/socks/running-socks/crew/104.php">Thorlo Thick Cushion Running Sock in Crew</a>, $15.99

  • Hat

    “Something snug and not overly bulky or heavy, because you will warm up a lot once you start running,” says Kwan. <i>Shown here</i>: <a href="http://www.louisgarneau.ca/ca-en/product/305518/1493294/HatsWarmersGloves/HAT_COVER">Hat Cover</a>, $26.99, Louis Garneau

  • Lip Balm

    Kwan's favourite of the moment is an emollient lip balm from Rodial. It’s an essential to keep your lips moisturized before heading out in the cold, drying winds. <i>Shown here</i>: <a href="http://www.murale.ca/7911-Rodial_Glam-Balm-Lip.aspx">Rodial Glam Balm Lip</a>, $25, Murale

  • Sunscreen

    “I switch to running midday in the winter so I can avoid running in the dark, and sunscreen is still essential in the winter,” notes Kwan. Don’t forget – UV rays reflect off the snow and can be even more damaging to your skin. <i>Shown here</i>: <a href="http://www.coppertone.ca/en/prod_sports_sportfaces60.php">Coppertone-Sport Face Sunscreen SPF 60</a>, approximately $13

1. Good pair of warm gloves. “My fingers always freeze up first! Bonus if the gloves have touchscreen-friendly fingerpads so I can operate my iPhone.” Kwan uses the Nike running app, so iPhone access is handy.

2. Winter running tights. “Cold air travels up pants legs, so I stick to tights.” Kwan advises that on really cold days, it's worth it to layer a pair of track pants over top.

3. A good base layer. “A soft, sweat-wicking base layer, over which I layer more tech-fabric tops. The number of which depends on the temperature and how windy it is.”

4. A running jacket. “One that’s wind resistant and keeps rain and snow out.” Kwan says she tries to skip running on days when it’s just too wet out. She also thinks a jacket with a reflective design is pretty cool. So cars can spot you better.

5. Sport socks. “I mostly wear ankle socks for running, but in the winter you want ones with more height that overlap with your running tights or you risk cold ankles.”

6. Hat. “Something snug and not overly bulky or heavy, because you will warm up a lot once you start running.”

7. Lip balm. Kwan's favourite of the moment is an emollient lip balm from Rodial. It’s an essential to keep your lips moisturized before heading out in the cold, drying winds.

8. Sunscreen. “I switch to running midday in the winter so I can avoid running in the dark, and sunscreen is still essential in the winter.” Don’t forget – UV rays reflect off the snow and can still be damaging to your skin.

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