Objectives: To describe the frequency and the distribution of the main types of leisure time physical activity (LTPA) practiced by Brazilian adults in 2012 and to observe their time trends from 2006 to 2012. Methods: Cross-sectional data from the Brazilian surveillance system of risk and protective factors for non-transmissible chronic diseases from 2006 to 2012 (around 54,000 adults aged 18 years or older in all Brazilian State capitals interviewed yearly). Participants were asked whether they had practiced any type of exercise or sport in the last 3 months, and if so which type. Linear regression was used to identify trends of the five most cited LTPA. Results: In 2012, walking was reported as the main LTPA (18.1 %), followed by strength training/gymnastics (11.2 %) and football (7.2 %). Time-trend analysis showed reduction in football (9.1-7.2 %; p = 0.004, β = -0.25, R(2) = 0.79) and increase in strength training/gymnastics (7.9-11.2 %; p = 0.02, β = 0.50, R(2) = 0.62) and running (1.7-3.1 %; p < 0.001, β = 0.22, R(2) = 0.93). Conclusions: Walking was the main type of LTPA. Patterns of LTPA types remained relatively stable over the last 7 years.