Smartphones, and the apps we love have revolutionized our lives in so many ways. Whether it’s destroying fruit with a swipe of your finger or becoming “Mayor” of your local coffee shop, its undeniable that we are firmly attached to being connected.

 

“There’s an app for that”, as Apple coined when it introduced us to the world of apps in 2008 is a literal description of what the smartphone app landscape looks like, with hundreds of thousands of apps in existence. The fitness space has a ton of its own. From the seemingly ridiculous (getting chased by zombies) to the social (sharing workouts that doesn’t involve posting to Facebook), I’ve chosen a handful of apps I can’t live without. And the best part? Many of these are free!

 

1. Couch to 5k

 

What It Is: Get the support you need to train for your first 5k! It’s great for someone just getting started, or restarting, his or her fitness journey. Train for 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week, in 9 weeks. Use training tools, music-synch and virtual coaching to run 3.1 miles.

 

The Skinny: Free. Available in the iPhone App Store and Google Play.

 

2. Zombies, Run!

 

What It Is: Train and conquer your fear of the Zombie Apocalypse at the same time! With over 60 missions, use this creative app to literally run from zombies! It’s simple: put on your headphones, press start and start running. As running game and audio adventure, co-created with award-winning novelist Naomi Aldermen, you’ll be ready for your Walking Dead cameo in no time!

 

The Skinny: $3.99. Available in the iPhone App Store and Google Play. Learn more at www.zombiesrungame.com

 

3. Kettlebell Training: The Basics

 

What It Is: Ready to try something a little different? Kettlebells are an excellent full body workout and can help someone bored with free weights breathe life back into their workout! RKC Certified Kettlebell instructor Robert Budd safely walks you through the basic kettlebell exercises. With over 20 exercises and 12 complete workouts, you won’t get bored soon!

 

The Skinny: $1.99. Available in the iPhone App Store.

 

4. MyFitness Pal

 

What It Is: You’re probably already familiar with this giant of the fitness-app landscape. It’s a hit for good reason: it’s awesome. With MyFitnessPal, track your calories with a database of over two million (yes, million) food items; it’s easy to track any kind of diet. And with Notifications throughout the day, it won’t let you forget to log your meals.

 

The Skinny: Free. Available in the iPhone App Store and Google Play, Windows Phone and Blackberry.

 

5. Fitocracy

 

What It Is: Fitness is social to many people, and Fitocracy ties the social nature of fitness together. It’s a community of like-minded folks, sharing their workouts, progress, and gym-friendly content. Join in the fun and find motivation through a network of social fitness friends.

 

The Skinny: $3.99. Available in the iPhone App Store and Google Play.

 

6. Strava

 

What It Is: Track bike rides and runs without lifting a finger. Strava lets user upload their workout data from their iPhone, Android or Garmin, and the app automatically logs workouts in its system. Users can compare their workouts to previous rides or runs or see how they fare against others.

 

The Skinny: Free. Available in the iPhone App Store and Google Play.

 

7. Instagram

 

What It Is: I know what you’re thinking, “This is a photo app!” But it’s oh so much more. Between all the selfies, hash tags and puppy pics, this photo app is where more than 100 million active users come to show off their healthy culinary genius, fitness feats, and everyday adventures. It’s motivation through photography. Join communities by using “hash tags”. A personal favorite hash tag is the #inshapelifestyle campaign, focused on sharing fitness-related goals and progress.

 

The Skinny: Free. Available in the iPhone App Store and Google Play.

 

What apps do you use to stay fit, healthy and happy? Let us know at facebook.com/inshape

 

About the Author: Mike Daniel is the Digital Marketing and Creative Director for In-Shape Health Clubs, one of the nations largest health club chains, with 65 locations throughout California. You can find him on Twitter, Vine or Facebook @mikejdaniel.