"Alexa, tell me how many steps I’ve walked today."
Like the Google Home , Amazon's smart Echo speakers boast a vast collection of skills to make your life easier. More than just a fun companion, Alexa can check your bank account balance, call you an Uber, check the weather and give you travel recommendations.
But did you know Alexa can even serve as your very own personal trainer, meditation instructor, virtual nurse and sleep machine?
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Alexa works with tons of fitness apps, and as such, it's a pretty great fitness coach.
If you connect your Fitbit to your Amazon Alexa account, Alexa will tell you stats like how many more steps you need for the day, how much deep sleep you got the night before and more. Just say:
The Motiv fitness ring also syncs with Alexa. Tell Alexa:
Five Minute Workout: Core and Cardio
In a pinch for time? Tell your Echo, "Alexa, open Five Minute Workout" and Alexa will guide you through a five-minute routine to get your heart rate up.
Fitness isn't always about long distances and heavy weights. I like this Alexa skill because it's something most people need but often neglect. Say, "Alexa, open your morning routine," and it'll guide you through a 20-minute stretch session that targets your ankles, back, knees and hips.
You can use Alexa with MyFitnessPal Lite or premium. Alexa can handle just about anything you'd need to open the app on your phone for. Try saying:
If you want to track water only, H20-Pal serves as a handy Alexa skill. You can tell Alexa:
This Alexa skill wants you to focus on the little victories. Say, "Alexa, launch Daily Health Tip," and she'll tell you one thing you should focus on for the day. For example, it might tell you to watch your salt intake or focus on reaching your step goal.
With Food Tracker, keeping a food diary is easier than ever. You can log foods via voice commands, as well as get calorie information. Try these commands:
Mindfulness can slip by the wayside when you're facing the daily hustle and bustle of life. Alexa makes it easier to prioritize your emotional state of being.
Guided Meditation: Meditation of the Day for Calm
This Alexa skill comes from the developers behind Stop, Breathe & Think, a great meditation app for emotional wellness. Tell Alexa:
This fun Alexa skill brightens your day with happy fun facts. Just say, "Alexa, make me smile," and it'll tell you something uplifting.
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Even if you don't subscribe to the paid version of Headspace, you can enable daily meditations for free. To get more meditations, connect to your Headspace account. To meditate, tell Alexa:
If guided meditation isn't your jam, you can launch Spa Music to play soothing soundtracks while you meditate or relax on your own. Just say, "Alexa, play Spa Music."
Like Google Assistant, Alexa's repertoire of personal care commands is small. There is one Alexa skill in this category I love, though:
Tell Alexa, "Ask My Dermatologist what the UV index is today." It'll tell you the index for your ZIP code and whether you should wear sunscreen. My Dermatologist also offers skincare tips and information. Tell Alexa:
Find healthcare providers, ask questions about symptoms and alert contacts when you need assistance with these Alexa skills.
This Alexa skill allows you to alert friends and family when you need help. It's not a substitute for 911, but offers a great way to ask for help. You can alert just one person or your entire Personal Alert Network. Say:
Ask My Buddy will then send a text message, email or voice call to your contacts.
WebMD can answer virtually any medical question you have about symptoms or a condition. Try these commands:
Another impressive Alexa skill, Virtual Nurse hands out detailed information on medical conditions, as well as interesting fun facts. Tell Alexa:
You may be able to take advantage of a few other Alexa skills for healthcare if you're a member of certain services or groups:
If you have trouble falling asleep at night, enlist Alexa to help.
Waking up refreshed is a phenomenon that goes deeper than just getting your eight hours — waking up at the wrong point in your sleep cycle can result in grogginess, no matter how long you slept. Sleep Right determines the best time for you to go to bed and wake up based on sleep cycles.
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Alexa has a good deal of ambient sound skills, but this particular skill offers more than 125 different sounds to lull you to sleep. Tell Alexa: