It used to be that if you were a woman, your options for sports were quite limited. More than likely you picked up a volleyball, basketball or softball and that was all you did every school year.

The growing popularity of sports in general has resulted in more and more fans flocking to certain sports as fans, if not participants.

According to the website Mother Jones, 1 in 27 girls participated in high school sports when Title IX came into play in 1972. The number jumped from 295,000 girls in 1972 to nearly 3.2 million in 2011.

There is a reason why growth in women’s and girls sports has exploded. Not only are more opportunities there to play sports at club and travel levels, more sports are televised on broadcast and cable networks these days.

Think about it. Your daughter could be sitting there watching a rugby match and thinking “I want to try this someday.” And the opportunity may be there for her before you know it.

Getting outside and playing sports offers great benefits for both girls and women alike. Running itself is a solid health benefit. Not only can you get great cardiovascular workouts and get the target heart rate raised to a beneficial level, but that workout will give you tons of energy and lift your spirits to prepare for the match itself.

Looking to burn off some of the extra food you’ve eaten in the last few days? Depending on how much of a workout you get in or what sport you play, you can burn several dozen calories or several hundred in one sitting or physical performance.

The more calories you drop, the less weight to worry about and the more muscle and tone your body will have. If you want to go into the season with a fully worked-out physique, playing a sport or taking part in that physical activity will help.

Lacrosse is a sport on the rise with many women. The advent of college programs broadcasting their games on television has helped the sport increase its reach from humble New England beginnings to a wider appeal across the country.

Over 81,000 girls took part in youth lacrosse in 2006, and that number rose significantly to 131,000 in 2011. With the number of lacrosse sticks on sale among game-used equipment, it would not be a surprise to see this sport explode further.

Of course, there are other sports more and more women are involved in. Look at the number of female kickers in football. There are girls that have wrestled and done very well. Then there’s rugby. Strong sports like soccer, volleyball, softball and basketball will always be cool.

Don’t be surprised to see more challenges as females break through the glass ceiling. The sky is the limit for women in sports right now.