Nine Fall Workout Tips from Personal Trainers

Three Equinox trainers share advice on staying warm, keeping motivation up, and getting the best results possible.

After sweating profusely all summer, fall provides a welcome weather refuge for many Bostonians. But if you’ve gotten used to exercising outdoors in just shorts and a tank top, colder days may make for a rude awakening.

We asked three trainers from Equinox—Alex Figueroa, David Cheal, and Kristen Mercier—for their best fall workout tips as autumn weather hits.

Alex Figueroa

1. Pay attention to your fingers and your face. “Fingers and face are usually the first to get cold, so a good pair of gloves and a warm beanie, or even a mask, are good ideas,” Figueroa says.

2. Incorporate active recovery. Instead of letting your body get cold as it stands between sets, Figueroa recommends light movement during rest periods. “Fluctuations in body temperature make the cold more uncomfortable and allow the cold to creep into your clothes,” he says.

3. Create smaller loops. If you’re a runner or walker, resort to laps—instead of long journeys—in case the cold gets to be too much. “Create shorter loops and repeat them more often,” Figueroa says. “This will allow you to decide on the fly if you can do another [lap] every time you hit your starting point.”

David Cheal

1. Start preparing now. “Preserve and build your muscle mass now so your body will burn fat rather than muscle in colder temps,” Cheal says. In other words: Hit the gym, stat.

2. Do the workouts you avoided all summer. Some workouts are just too painful in hot summer months—so do them now. “Outdoor track workouts can be brutal in the heat, but right now is the perfect time to hit the track for that workout you’ve been craving all summer,” Cheal says.

3. Invest in the right gearCheal’s must-haves for cold weather exercise are gloves, compression pants, and light layers that can be removed as your body heats up.

Kristen Mercier

1. Pay attention to your warm up. Logically, warm ups are extra important when it’s cold outside, Mercier says. “Light, dynamic movement is the best way to [warm up],” Mercier says. “One of my favorite warm up moves is the yoga pose downward-facing dog. It increases core temperature and mobilizes the hips and shoulders.”

2. Work your whole body. To stay warm, Mercier says not to isolate any one muscle group. “The more muscle groups you can recruit, the warmer you will keep your body,” she explains. “Push-ups, burpees, walking lunges, and jump squats are all great exercises for this.”

3. Plan your route wisely. “Your best bet is to stay away from areas of high wind, such as the ocean and other bodies of water,” Mercier says. “Tree-lined streets or trails would be a better bet.”


Jamie Ducharme Jamie Ducharme, Contributor jducharme@bostonmagazine.com