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.
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:
- “Alexa, ask Fitbit how I’m doing today.”
- “Alexa, ask Fitbit how I slept last night.”
- “Alexa, ask Fitbit how much water I need to drink today.”
The Motiv fitness ring also syncs with Alexa. Tell Alexa:
- “Alexa, open Motiv Ring“
- “Alexa, ask Motiv Ring for my stats”
- “Alexa, ask Motiv Ring for my heart rate.”
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:
- “Alexa, open MyFitnessPal.”
- “Alexa, ask MyFitnessPal how am I doing today.”
- “Alexa, tell MyFitnessPal to log my weight.”
If you want to track water only, H20-Pal serves as a handy Alexa skill. You can tell Alexa:
- “Alexa, ask H2O-Pal how close am I to reaching my daily goal.”
- “Alexa, tell H2O-Pal I drank eight ounces of water.”
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:
- “Alexa, open Food Tracker.”
- “Alexa, tell Food Tracker I had two eggs for breakfast.”
- “Alexa, tell Food Tracker to log a cup of skim milk.”
- “Alexa, ask Food Tracker how many calories are in two slices of wheat toast.”
Our 5 favorite things to do with Alexa
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.
- “Alexa, open Guided Meditation.”
- “Alexa, ask Guided Meditation to play meditation.”
- “Alexa, play next.”
This fun Alexa skill brightens your day with happy fun facts. Just say, “Alexa, make me smile,” and it’ll tell you something uplifting.
Read more: The 10 best meditation apps of 2019
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:
- “Alexa, tell Headspace I’m ready to meditate”
- “Alexa, open Headspace”
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:
- “Alexa, ask My Dermatologist for my skin tip.”
- “Alexa, tell My Dermatologist I need help.”
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:
- “Alexa, Ask My Buddy to alert Mom.”
- “Alexa, Ask My Buddy to alert everyone.”
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:
- “Alexa, open WebMD”
- “Alexa, ask WebMD ‘what are the side effects of ibuprofen?'”
- “Alexa, ask WebMD ‘what is diabetes?'”
Another impressive Alexa skill, Virtual Nurse hands out detailed information on medical conditions, as well as interesting fun facts. Tell Alexa:
- “Alexa, open Virtual Nurse.”
- “Alexa, ask Virtual Nurse what’s the normal temperature of a baby.”
- “Alexa, ask Virtual Nurse what Warfarin does.”
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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.
- “Alexa, ask Sleep Right what time I should go to bed.”
- “Alexa, ask Sleep Right to help me get up before 6 AM”
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:
- “Alexa, open Sleep Sounds.”
- “Alexa, play Thunderstorm.”
- “Alexa, play next.”
- “Alexa, set a sleep timer for two hours.”