Club workouts and weight-lifting led participation growth in fitness-oriented activities over five years, according to the most recent data from NSGA Sports Participation studies. Among the 39 sports and recreational activities surveyed in both 2000 and 2005, the highest-ranking fitness activity at No. 5 was working out at club, growing 44.3 percent from 24.1 million participants in 2000 to 34.7 million in 2005. Taking the No. 6 spot was weight-lifting, which posted a 43 percent growth spurt -- 35.5 million participants in 2005, up from 24.8 million in 2000.
Other fitness activities showing double-digit percentage growth included:
>> running/jogging, up 28.2 percent -- 22.8 million in 2000 vs. 29.2 million in 2005;
>> exercising with equipment, up 21 percent -- 44.8 million in 2000 vs. 54.2 million in 2005; and
>> aerobic exercising, up 17.7 percent -- 28.6 million in 2000 vs. 33.7 million in 2005.
On the down side, exercise walking dropped a smidge, down 0.3 percent -- 86 million participants in 2005 compared to 86.3 million in 2000.
In the top slot was kayaking/rafting, showing a growth according to NSGA statistics of 141.4 percent or from 3.1 million participants to 7.6 million. Next was paintball games, archery and target shooting.
The NSGA defines a participant as anyone age 7 or older who participates at least once in an activity. Click here to visit the NSGA website for a full list of the 39 sports and recreational activities with their changes.