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Brookline Women Going Local For Their Fitness Needs

By Taylor Bornstein

There has been a big push recently to go local. Shop the Farmer's Market, buy gifts at small, brick-and-mortar boutiques, skip Starbucks in favor of the tastier, hipper local brew house. Supporting local businesses creates a sense of belonging that is hard to put a price on, and keeping those unique places open ensures that a neighborhood maintains an identity.

That impetus to cultivate small business loyalty is sort of lacking when it comes to gyms. People will scour the dingiest of back alleys to discover the wonders of Inuit-style ceviche, but are surprisingly content to get their fitness needs met by the ubiquitous chain health clubs.

Gym options run the gamut from ultra-luxe facilities that provide perks like Egyptian cotton towels and chakra alignment to bare bones gyms featuring equipment old enough to remember the days of lycra leotards and white high top sneakers. At the former you're paying out the nose to rub sweaty elbows with individuals who are likely to have a special set of "workout makeup" and at the latter you're shelling out pennies while taking your chances on a treadmill that may be old enough to have developed both vendettas and the prescience to meet them out.

If you're a lover of going native take that preference one more step and join a local health club. Benefitness Health Club for Women is a wonderful and welcome alternative to both elitist über-gyms and charmless fitness franchises. Benefitness has been keeping the women of Brookline fit for over 35 years. It is owned and operated by a local businesswoman whose interest is in serving her members, not meeting national profit margins.

The cardio and strength machines are top of the line in the industry and you will never have to bother with a wait list at peak times. If you love group exercise classes the Benefitness schedule has over 60 classes a week. These classes, included in the price of membership, offer a range of cardio, strength, and mind/body options. Whether you love to pedal your stress out in Spin, tone your muscles in Bootcamp, or find your Zen in Hatha Yoga- Benefitness provides an array of classes that will appeal to your fitness preferences and fit your schedule.

If you love conquering new fitness challenges, try incorporating a few Studio Classes into your routine: TRX Suspension Training and Pilates Reformer can breathe some new life into your wellness goals.

Benefitness is a community in and of itself. You'll see daughters and mothers going for gold in the same Spin class. Instructors offering up tips on spinal alignment as well as the best place for a healthy snack after a great workout. The same person who gives you tips on getting your leg higher in kickboxing, will also watch your 2-year-old while you hit the treadmill. Like your favorite sandwich shop or bookstore- there's an elusive but satisfying quality about Benefitness. It's a feeling of belonging; of belonging to a place, and also of that place belonging to you. That sense of welcome and comfort comes from being one-of-a-kind.

Members join and members stay because they know a good thing when they've found it. Eat local, buy local, gym local.

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