5 Ways Amazon Alexa can keep you Fit and Healthy

1. Breathe

Breathe helps you do exactly that. It’s a breathing coach for Alexa, guiding you through a quick 5-minute breathing exercise that you can do multiple times a day to help calm your mental state and relax.

Just shout out: “Alexa, start deep breathing”, “Alexa, ask deep breathing for the breathing exercise”, or “Alexa, ask deep breathing to breathe with me”, and she’ll guide you through the exercise.

2. Yoga Trainer

This skill is for those that prefer to do Yoga at home, but might not be advanced enough to know a good number of vinyasas by heart. Yoga Trainer uses Alexa so that you have your very own virtual yoga teacher at home, guiding you through 26 essential postures to help improve your balance and core strength.

Simply shout out: “Alexa, ask Yoga Trainer for the next pose”, “Alexa, ask Yoga Trainer to start a new session”, or “Alexa, ask Yoga Trainer for a teacher near me” to startup the app. However, this Skill assumes at least a basic level of familiarity with Bikram Yoga’s postures and should be used as an aide by people who are already comfortable enough with postures to practice at home without supervision.

3. 7 Minute Workout

The 7-Minute Workout skill is based on a scientifically proven set of exercises designed to increase metabolism, improve energy, lower stress and remove fat. It also turns Alexa into a virtual personal trainer. To get started, you just need to say “Start 7-Minute Workout,” and you will be guided through the entire routine. Take breaks as you need them, and then simply let Alexa know when you are ready to begin the next exercise.

In the latest update, there’s images and tutorials via the Alexa Companion App to give you a better idea of how to perform them.

4. One Minute Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness improves both mental and physical health, and involves both concentration and acceptance. However, many people struggle with how to begin meditating and get the rewards of a more contemplative life, so this skill is the perfect way to start a meditation practice. It allows you to take a break from the world around you and enter into a one minute sound meditation.

The 1-Minute Mindfulness skill offers several different meditations. You can either ask for a peaceful meditation or one with specific sounds. You can also ask for a quick meditation, forest meditation or river meditation, each playing a related meditative soundtrack to help you tune out the world and focus on your breath.

To launch the skill, simply shout: “Alexa Open Mindfulness for a quick meditation” at Alexa, and she’ll get right to it.

5. Doctor Alexa: WebMD

If it’s more of   WebMD – the hypochondriac’s favorite website – teamed up with Amazon earlier this year to give Alexa medical diagnosis capabilities.

The integration will allow Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Fire TV users to ask Alexa basic health queries, such as “Alexa, ask WebMD what are the symptoms of a heart attack”, or “Alexa, ask WebMD how to treat a sore throat.”

In addition to providing answers via voice, the new WebMD integration gives users the chance to request additional information sent in text form to their Alexa app. If they opt to do so, a card containing the original answer to their question and a URL where they can find more information on WebMD.com will appear in the app.

How to install ‘skills’

To make use of these health features, users simply need to add the skills to Alexa via the Alexa app store. Start by tapping on the sidebar menu button in the top-left corner of the screen in the Alexa app. Then tap inside of the search box at the top where it says “Search Skills.” Type in which ever app you’re looking for and search, then choose to install.

Although Amazon has faced difficulty competing with the likes of Apple and Google in smartphones and tablets, it is showing promise with Alexa and the Echo device line. Amazon does not disclose sales numbers, but the company said in December that the Echo was its best selling product over $100 on Black Friday.

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