With larger, more commercially advertised gyms constantly sprouting up all across the country, it may be difficult to decide between joining one of the smaller local gyms or joining one that belongs to a national chain. We all have different needs and circumstances to consider when making this choice, but here are three reasons why you should choose a local gym.

1. Local Gyms Are More Affordable.

Larger gyms that belong to a chain tend to charge a lot more for their services. Payment plans are generally much more strict, and you may find yourself still having to pay extra if you decide you want to participate in any group fitness classes or special events. With smaller local gyms, the fee to join is typically much more manageable, and most local gyms run promotions that further reduce or even waive those costs all together. Monthly fees are also reduced in comparison to chain gyms, and generally include a great deal of classes and additional perks, like supervised child play and personal training sessions.

2. Local Gyms Have More Personality.

If you’re looking for a more personable and close-knit atmosphere in your gym, a larger chain location probably won’t cut it. With larger facilities there is significantly more traffic, and less of a chance that you’ll be building any personal relationships with visitors or employees. Employees in local gyms are more likely to remember your name and face and remember your goals, and in doing so will be able to help you achieve them much more efficiently. In a local gym, you’ll get to know the staff as you continue to visit, and you’ll probably run into friends and neighbors from your community fairly regularly. The personality and atmosphere are also generally much more relaxed and inviting, with less pressure to keep up with the more advanced gym-goers and body builders.

3. Local Gyms Are Community-Oriented.

As mentioned previously, local gyms are just that: local. They want to maintain a sense of community with their customers. Oftentimes you will find that they truly do pay attention to the needs of their patrons, providing additional opportunities for families and children. If you require supervised child play during your workout sessions, you may find that it’s easier to find trustworthy daycare settings within locally run establishments. If you are in need of financial assistance when paying for a membership, you may have more luck negotiating with smaller local gyms instead of a chain.
Families, especially those with small children and/or working parents, may find that local gyms offer more of sense of security and inclusiveness than that of a larger chain. Shop around and visit the local gyms in your neighborhood to see if one of them may be the right fit for you and your family.