The Top 12 Fitness & Health Apps

Whether you're looking to lose weight, gain muscle mass or just geek out on your favorite exercise, there is a fitness app out there for you. Join in as we look at the top apps across different fitness categories.

Mobile Fitness Apps

The mobile app market has exploded over the last several years offering iOS and Android users a cornucopia of choices for everything under the sun, and fitness is no different. In fact according to a recent IHS Electronics and Media research report, the mobile fitness app market is expected to reach 288 million apps by 2017.

Fitness App Categories

While there are so many different types of apps out there, we had to narrow the list down and start somewhere. For this a slideshow we'll look at bodybuilding/weightlifting, running, cycling, swimming and sleep monitoring apps.

This list isn't all inclusive, if there is an app you are using that you think is standout please tell us in the comments. Also if there is an additional category that you'd like to know more about please let us know.

Body Building and Weightlifting Apps - Full Fitness

If you've ever stood in the gym and said, "What do I do next?" then this app can help. Originally called iFitness, this handy little app is like a personal trainer or a gym help support desk. Want to work your shoulders? Simply pull up all the exercises under the any particular muscle group and you'll get how-to's with videos, images and directions.

Users can log your workouts, view the data graphically, email them or back it up. The app also includes calorie tracking, BMI tracking and graphing, as well as multiple user profiles.

Website: http://www.healthxperts.net/index.html

Platform: iOS

Price: $1.99

Fitness Buddy

This popular app offers instructions on over 1700 different exercises and more than 1000 instructional videos that are categorized by muscle group. Fitness buddy allows users to choose routines based on their long term goals, such as building big arms and shoulders or arm toning exercises. Whatever equipment you have at your disposal -- free weights, kettle balls or no weights at all, you'll be able to find corresponding exercises. There's a built-in timer to keep you on your routine, ways to log your workout data and track your caloric intake.

Website: http://fitnessbuddyapp.com/

Platform: iOS and Android

Price: $1.99

BodySpace

BodySpace refers to itself as a social fitness platform. It connects users with all the data of BodyBuilding.com as well as their online community, and offers users access to instructional workout videos and images. You can share photos of your progress, track your workout information and build your network of bodybuilding sources.

It does require registration, but the app and all the data are free making this app a great place to start if you're considering giving these bodybuilding apps a whirl. The company also promises more social sharing features to come.

Website: http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/bodyspace-app-itunes.html

Platform: iOS and Android

Price: Free

Running Apps - RunKeeper

If setting goals helps you stay motivated then RunKeeper, a community favorite, might be made for you. Although it's primarily made for running, it's also good for recording your cycling and strength training workouts. RunKeeper provides different goals like training for a race or weight loss and will calculate the appropriate running pace for that goal. It also offers preplanned routes and supports heart rate monitors.

Website: http://runkeeper.com/

Platform: Android and iOS

Price: Free

Nike+ Running

Nike has been at the vanguard of technology and fitness and this app is a demonstration of that commitment. It uses your smartphone's GPS to provide real-time run data to help you take your performance to the next level. The data provides information like run speed throughout the different legs of your run as well as weather data. Users can compete with others in social media, create custom training programs, and share your run data through social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Another great feature is that users can manually enter runs they weren't able to capture with their device.

Website: https://secure-nikeplus.nike.com/plus/products/gps_app/

Platform: Android and iOS

Price: Free

Strava Running and Cycling

Strava has made great in-roads with both runners and cycling enthusiasts. This social media app attracts users from both disciplines and allows them to follow and share data together. The app provides stats like elevation gained, distance, pace, speed, and calories burned. Users can attach a blue tooth sensor to monitor heart rate within it as well. The social media functionality allow you to follow and challenge friends, and runners can compete in nation-wide challenges. The website works in conjunction with the app, so users can view their own running history and their connections.

Strava offers a premium version for $5.99/month or $59.99/year.

Website: http://www.strava.com/running-app

Platform: Android and iOS

Price: Free

Cycling Apps - Map My Ride

Cycling is bigger than ever and MapMyRide and other following apps can help leverage technology with your cycling workouts to enhance performance. MapMyRide provides mapping tools to build custom routes and provides information on over 120 million bike routes internationally. Cyclers can share their data with friends, track nutrition, weight and more. The app works with any Bluetooth Smart sensor. There is also a premium version which offers features like advanced routing options, live shareable tracking and of course training plans. But the real advantage may be the disappearing ads.

Website: http://www.mapmyride.com/

Platform: Android, Blackberry and iOS

Price: Free

Cyclemeter

This great, but unfortunately iOS only app, gets a 5 stars from users in iTunes so they must be doing something right. The core features include tracking, speed, distance, elevation, total ride time, and mapping your rides. That accumulated data gets turned into comprehensive visual charts and graphs. The app supports additional activities like running and skiing as well.

With a recent update, the core features are available for free. The 'Elite' subscription is an in-app purchase costing $4.99 per year.

Website: https://abvio.com/cyclemeter/

Platform: iOS

Price: Free

Wahoo Fitness

Wahoo is trying hard to replace cycling computers. Connect it to a variety of hardware add-ons and users can track heart rate, cycling speed, cadence, and power data. The device connects to many Bluetooth sensors and allows cyclers to upload their workout data to different apps. Wahoo fitness is used in conjunction with other apps like Strava, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal or TrainingPeaks. Note: Users should be aware that any device that continually utilizes GPS data will suffer from decreased battery life.

Website: http://www.wahoofitness.com/apps

Platform: Android and iOS

Price: Free

Swimming Apps - GoSwim

This swimming app, created by the people behind GoSwim.tv, connects swimmers to an entire online community of like-minded swimmers that are geographically close to you. User can view news, tutorials, instructional images, and videos all designed to help you perfect your form.

Website: http://www.mobileroadie.com/apps/goswim

Platform: Android and iOS

Price: Free

Swim Speed

Another iOS-only application, this swim speed app is designed to log all the data associated with your swims like distance, time, pace and speed. It also allows you to log things like locations, calorie count, conditions, elevation and more.

This app is great for logging data and could likely be used for a number of different fitness logging needs.

Website: http://walshitech.com/

Platform: iOS

Price: Free

Swim Radar

It's been said that it's hard to swim without water. That's where SwimRadar comes in. This handy little app shows users the location of over 17,000 pools (no not the ones in people's backyards). It offers users the ability to get pool data via their location or a specific address. You can also use the filters to find a location that fits your specific needs as well as save and share your favorite locations.

Website: http://swimradar.com/

Platform: iOS

Price: $2.99