When it comes to getting fit, most of us need all the help we can get.
The recent release and subsequent runaway success of the smartphone app Zombies, Run! - which casts those hitting the tarmac for the sake of a slimmer tummy as survivor following invasion by the undead - got me thinking about the avalanche of health-related help that has been inspired by broadband and mobiles phones. Should we all be logging on, syncing up and getting sweaty?
I believe the world falls into three camps when it comes to health and fitness:
- Those who love it - they go for it hell-for-leather at the gym
with a smile on their face throughout, feel no need to eat an
entire Terry's Chocolate Orange in one sitting, and it's like the
sky has fallen in should a broken leg keep them from pounding the
streets on their daily 10km run.
- There are those who are happy to maintain a horizontal position
on their couch for the majority of their leisure time and can't for
the life of them think why anyone would play football
when you could turn on Sky Sports (www.Sky.com) and
watch people who are much better at it than you, play
- And then there are the rest of us. Painfully aware that exercise is a necessary evil that gets more necessary - and more evil - the older we get. Sometime we might even (almost) enjoy a game of footie with our mates, but let's face it, if eating a doughnut had the same effect as a session at the gym, we'd be queuing round the block at Krispy Kreme.
But there is help at hand for the reluctant athletes among us. The internet and your everyday gadgets combined can deliver some great apps, games and, er, television, that can make getting fit just that bit more enjoyable, and make maintaining a healthy lifestyle less of a chore.
This aforementioned ultra-immersive running game for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android devices delivers a zombie apocalypse story straight to your headphones through radio messages and voice recordings. Collect essential supplies, like medicine and ammo, and, when you get back home, you can build and grow your base by assigning items to develop different sectors.
You can choose your own custom playlists and if the guttural sounds of zombies closing in on you doesn't help you pick up your pace, nothing will.
Of course, you'll also need to have a few routes up your sleeve if you are going to be running on a regular basis - nothing kills enthusiasm for exercise like boredom with your workout - which is where MapMyRUN comes in.
The website contains a database of over 25 million running routes or you can devise your own, plotting the route on a map while it calculates the distance. It also runs regular challenges for you to join and offers training plans for a variety of distances and events.
Unfortunately, even after all that exertion, healthy types will tell you that you can't sit back with a sausage roll and celebrate your achievements. Next comes the diet workout, but as it requires a feat of mathematical genius to work out your calorie intake each day, few of us last more than a couple of days. Enter this handy little app...
A free app that offers a food database of over 1.1 million foods so it's easy to find and enter everything you have eaten that day, from ready meals, right though to homemade recipes. It calculates your calorie consumption, gives you a breakdown of the total nutritional content of your day's food, and adds any extra calories you accumulate from all the zombie-escaping you've been doing.
Best of all it lets you buddy up with your friends who can see when you have lost weight and whether you have stuck to your targets, upping the potential for public humiliation should you lose focus and eat an entire chocolate gateau for breakfast. According to MyFitnessPal, this can "motivate" you to lose up to three times as much weight.
Install the app on your smartphone and tablet and you can sync it up with your computer via your broadband connection, allowing you to update it wherever you go.
If you like to keep your sweaty exertions strictly out of public view then Wii Fit offers an array of activities, from yoga to snowboarding, designed to give you a core workout. It adds an element of fun, in the form of games like Just Dance, where you can bust some moves to a variety of tracks.
Or you could join the latest fitness craze, Zumba Fitness and shimmy your way to fitness.
5. Get motivated
If you are short on motivation look no further that the "greatest show on earth" - the Olympics Games - for an energising shot in the arm.
And while you are at it, don't settle for plain old 2D viewing - join the 62% of the British public who want to watch the Olympics in 3D.
The BBC plans to broadcast the Men's 100m final and a daily highlights package in 3D high-definition (HD) on the BBC HD Channel.
And of course, if inspiration strikes midway through you can keep watching online via BBC iPlayer on your way to the nearest running track.
After all, surely watching Usain Bolt demolish a few more world records will get you itching to brush the pastry crumbs from your t-shirt, arise from that semi-permanent horizontal position on your sofa and go for a jog... but just watch out for those zombies.