No Sweat

How to create the home gym of your dreams

Courtesy | Home Gym Trisha Polk

’Tis the season for New Year’s resolutions, like getting into shape. And with winter’s chill, it’s the perfect time to create a gym within your home. Whether you have endless space or cozier surrounds, here’s how to carve out an effective and attractive workout sanctuary.

First, start with the right equipment. Ardent Fitness ( custom designs home gyms with an emphasis on maximizing space: They’ve outfitted everything from expansive personal fitness studios to finished basements. They’ll walk you through the progress with 3D and video renderings to give you a sense of your dream gym’s form and function, including a full suite of products, from state-of-the-art cardio equipment to barre accessories. Heading to the Berkshires? Visit their branch in Lenox.

For an aesthetic spin, consult the visionaries at Boston’s Elms Interior Design ( Owner Dee Elms—a favorite of Boston’s home design elite—elevates exercise spaces to art forms, such as a recent Brookline carriage house transformation complete with a home gym overlooking a serene pool. If you crave a gym that feels more like a retreat, summon the wellness designers at Iron House ( They specialize in creating spa-like personal sanctuaries, with an eye to just the right color palette, fabrics, and lighting. Of course, no workout is complete without entertainment. Consult The Audio Visual Design Group ( in Westford to integrate smart-home technology into your home gym, with theater-quality sound, video, and more. With help like this, you might actually want to work up a sweat.

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PHotoGRAPH  courtesy of waterrower.Com/us

If you’re outfitting a smaller area, never fear: Consider the gorgeously handcrafted—yet sleek—rowers from Water Rower ( in Warren, RI. Pretend you’re sculling on the Charles River with their furniture-style rowers crafted from Appalachian hardwoods such as cherry, oak, walnut, and more, which blend seamlessly with existing furniture. Longing for a more rigorous workout? Upgrade with their Ergatta program, linking customized digital regimens and virtual competitions to your machine.

For an extra boost of coaching and guidance, consider hiring a personal trainer. At Elite In-Home Fitness (, with locations throughout Greater Boston, the experts come right to your door (or home gym) with tailored regimens, encouragement, and accountability. Their holistic consultations include a total body assessment, a tailored introductory workout to evaluate your skills, nutritional recommendations, and ongoing goal-setting. They’re flexible, too: Book them for group fitness classes with your family or neighbors  or hire them to complement your workout routine with an in-home massage.

If de-stressing is on your resolution list, browse the offerings at Harvard’s newly launched Thich Nhat Hanh Center for Mindfulness ( The center hosts seminars and courses focused on research-based mindfulness practices and healthy aging. Or browse the continuing education offerings through the Department of Nutrition (, with seminars and events geared to key topics in diet and wellness. To view quick primers on everything from disease prevention to nourishing recipes, all from the comfort of home, visit


Of course, it’s helpful to get medical clearance before embarking on any new workout or diet regimen. For personalized attention, book an appointment with Personal Health MD (, a Boston-based concierge healthcare service affiliated with Mass General Brigham and Beth Israel. Their medical team prioritizes nutrition, mind-body medicine, and integrative wellness, with a focus on busy professionals who appreciate same-day physician access.

“Helping my patients find joy in active lifestyles has impacted their quality of life, energy levels, and mood in profound ways. And the research backs this up—exercise is probably the most powerful tool we have to increase longevity,” says Dr. Jay Luthar, a primary care physician at Personal Health MD.

And whether you choose to sweat at a gym or in the privacy of your own home, here’s to starting the new year strong. 

Read more articles by Kara Baskin

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