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Running: The Mainstay in Sports & Fitness Participation

28 Nov 2011

When consumers were still keeping a close eye on their spending dollars, running was one sport that recreation enthusiasts didn’t give up on. According to the Physical Activity Council, running held its ground over the recession years with 41.1 million Americans participating in 2008 and 42.5 million participating in 2009

Last year, the Leisure Trends Group (LTG)  found that sales at run specialty stores in increased by 7% in total dollars to $79 million in March 2011 compared to March 2010. Footwear, alone, totaled to $58 million, a 5% growth in total dollars. Many of these sales could be attributed to the rising interest in minimalist shoes & running.

Fast forward to 2012: LTG reported an increase of 13% in running shoe sales in January 2012 in comparison with January 2011.

If you’re a health club consumer, you’re twice as likely to be a runner than the overall U.S. population. According to IHRSA, 35% of health club consumers participate in running/jogging. That’s about 20 million runners.

It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that running is such a popular activity. It’s relatively inexpensive – often the cost to get started is just a good pair of running shoes. Devoted runners can go on about the mood-enhancing, stress-relieving, and many other health benefits of putting in a few miles. Also, running overlaps with other popular sports like triathlons, adventure racing, and now obstacle course racing.

Whatever the reason, running is the mainstay in sports and fitness participation. It’s also a sport worth thinking about if you are looking for ways to breath new life into your exercise routine and/or training program. And the good thing about running is that it’s convenient to participate in during any time of year.

If you’re looking for tips on running and a sample exercise program, check out my online training guides.

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