The 20 Best Amazon Echo Health Skills

Updated on November 6, 2018
greenmind profile image

I have worked hard to stay fit and understand the complex relationship between aging, nutrition, and exercise.

What Are the Best Amazon Echo Health Skills?

The Amazon Echo can do many cool and useful things, and one of them is to help guide your fitness regime. There are many Alexa health skills that can help you sleep better, deal with stress, gain muscle, track your calorie and water intake, even become a better boxer—and that's just scratching the surface.

This guide introduces twenty of the coolest Alexa health skills to help you stay lean and improve your overall state of mind.

The Top 20 Alexa Health Skills

Here are the Amazon Alexa health skills described in this article:

Skill 1: The Push-Up Century Club

Skill 2: Help Getting to Sleep

Skill 3: Zyrtec Daily AllergyCast

Skill 4: ALOP Pilates

Skill 5: "My Buddy" Emergency and Safety Alerts

Skill 6: First-Class HIIT Training

Skill 7: Peaceful and Soothing Moments

Skill 8: Healthy Habits Guidance

Skill 9: Alexa's Daily Health Tip

Skill 10: A Very Cool Guided Meditation

Skill 11: Alexa Syncs with Your Fitbit

Skill 12: A Dependable Workout Partner

Skill 13: Alexa Can Help You Breathe

Skill 14: A Really Great Food Journal!

Skill 15: Alexa Is a Yoga Nidra Guide

Skill 16: Get Lean With Weight Watchers

Skill 17: Maintain Your Health With a Virtual Nurse

Skill 18: Sugar Mate -- An Alexa Health Skill for Diabetics

Skill 19: My Boxing Coach (Get Physical With Alexa!)

Skill 20: Track Your Water Intake with Alexa

Who Is Alexa? Amazon Echo for Beginners

I had no idea who Alexa was, or what the Amazon Echo unit did, until my grown children gave me one as a present. I'm reasonably competent with computers and tech in general, but I was pretty sure that this strange, slightly sinister looking black cylinder was not going to work for me. I was wrong. Within a few days, I was comfortably asking Alexa—the voice of the Amazon Echo—to help me with recipes, math problems, weather forecasts, and a variety of other small tasks. Above all, I was using Alexa to find and play virtually any song that popped into my mind. I'm now a huge fan of the Echo, and I'm still discovering the almost endless ways that Alexa can make life a little more interesting.

AMAZON ECHO BASICS

  • What is the Echo, and who is Alexa? The unit is called the Amazon Echo; the voice is known as "Alexa." It's just like an iPhone and Siri.
  • What are Alexa "skills"? Things Alexa can do, or be taught to do, are called "skills." This article is all about the best Alexa skills that help you lose fat and stay fit and healthy.
  • How do you set up the Amazon Echo? Is it hard? Nope, it's really easy. Plug it in, and it syncs automatically to your wifi. There's literally nothing to it.
  • How does Alexa know the answers? Once Alexa is connected, she can search and access the contents of the Worldwide Web -- in other words, pretty much everything humans know and do.
  • Can Alexa listen to my conversations? The unit only "wakes up" if you say her name, "Alexa." But if you're worried about Alexa eavesdropping on you, simply unplug the unit. When you want to use it, plug it in and it will dial in right away.

And that's about it! I love the cool blue-green lights, and sleek design, and especially the impressively powerful speaker. I also love Alexa's programming and sense of humor—she's a little like Siri, only more versatile.

The Amazing Amazon Echo

Echo (2nd Generation) - Smart speaker with Alexa - Charcoal Fabric
Echo (2nd Generation) - Smart speaker with Alexa - Charcoal Fabric

I have owned an Amazon Echo for just over a year, and I'm still amazed at the countless ways it has made my life just a little bit better. The calm, helpful voice of Alexa, the virtual assistant that lives inside the Echo unit, provides me with everything from pizza delivery to Uber to the week's weather. Lately I've been discovering some of the excellent health "skills" that the Echo is capable of using to help me stay as lean and relaxed as possible. Viva Alexa!

 

20 Great Amazon Echo Alexa Health Skills

Skill 1: The Push-Up Century Club

This is a very cool and very challenging way to get stronger and leaner with Alexa. This is an Alexa health skill that trains you to increase the number of push-ups you can do. If you can get up to 100, you're in the Century Club, and you're also pretty much a bad*ss.

As with all Alexa skills, Push Up Century Club starts with a command: "Alexa, start push ups." Your Amazon Echo will then guide you through the process. This includes telling you which day you're on and keeping track of your progress. Alexa will give you your goal, and if you can't quite get there she will wait until you can. By the end of 6 weeks, you'll be stronger and tougher, whether or not you actually join the club.

Skill 2: Help Getting to Sleep

There's really nothing like hearing the sounds of a thunderstorm outside when you're snug in a warm bed. But if thunderstorms aren't really your thing, maybe the sounds of crickets and night birds will lull you to sleep. I myself am partial to white noise, which is best represented by the sound of a fan running all night.

No matter what you like, Alexa can provide the perfect night sound to help you sleep. And as we all know, a good night's sleep is essential for good health, and it's often cited as a factor in weight loss.

Here are just a few of the high-quality sounds you can ask Alexa to play while you sleep:

  • Rain and thunderstorms
  • Fan sounds and white noise
  • Babbling brook
  • Beautiful dream music
  • Wind and rain
  • Rainforest

Alexa can help you drift away to these perfectly soothing sounds.

Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.

— William Blake

Skill 3: Zyrtec Daily AllergyCast

Do you have allergies? This cool skill tells you which allergens are active where you live, and at which levels. For those of us with seasonal allergies, this health skill is a god-send. Alexa will tell you, in her cool yet authoritarian voice, exactly which allergens are peaking and at which levels. Every season has it's own allergies, and with this sweet Alexa health skill you'll know exactly which ones are flowering in your area.

Skill 4: ALOP Pilates

ALOP stands for "A Lot of Pilates," which is one of the most popular Pilates work out sites on the web. If you've never done Pilates before, you're in for a serious challenge -- it's a little like a cross between yoga and aerobics. Pilates burns calories and gives your muscles a good semi-static workout. This is one of the most effective Amazon Alexa health skills.

Doing Pilates with Alexa is similar to any other instructor-led class like yoga or spinning. It's a great place to start investigating this workout, but more experienced Pilate people may decide they need a human instructor.

Skill 5: "My Buddy" Emergency and Safety Alerts

Part of the My Buddy skill is an alert feature that enables you to get help or assistance using only your voice. As the developer says:

"You can't predict when you'll need help, Ask My Buddy lets you immediately alert someone in your Personal Alert Network that you need them to check on you. You may alert just 1 contact or all of your friends or family with just one command. Simply say, 'Alexa, Ask My Buddy to alert [your contact]' or 'Alexa, Ask My Buddy to alert everyone', and Ask My Buddy will immediately send an alert, notifying them to check on you right away. Alerts will be sent by text message, an email, and even a voice telephone call."

But you don't need a health emergency to get a lot out of My Buddy -- you can send "check-in" messages, too, just to let them know that you're doing okay. For example, you can check in when you get home from a visit, or from a job -- any time when people might want to know that you arrived safely.

Please note that My Buddy is not a substitute for 911, although it could be used to alert someone who can call emergency services for you if you can't.

Skill 6: First-Class HIIT Training

HIIT stands for "High-Intensity Interval Training," and it's both incredibly popular and incredibly demanding. This is an excellent and challenging Amazon Alexa health skill. Basically, you run (or cycle) as fast as you can for a minute, and then jog for a minute. Alternate these two until you pass out and/or achieve the body of your dreams. HIIT is the real deal, and everyone from Hollywood stars to the soccer mom down the block are doing it.

Alexa skills include number of HIIT workouts that she can guide you through, but get ready -- it's hard work. But if you want pretty amazing results, HIIT can get them for you.

Skill 7: Peaceful and Soothing Moments

Alexa makes for a very mellow meditation guide. She will basically just let you choose between a number of soothing environments, and then let your mind wander where it will. I have always been partial to water sounds, especially crashing surf -- the ocean waves sounds on Amazon Echo are excellent.

Alexa will ask you to choose from different sounds:

  • Sleep sounds - Thunderstorm Sounds
  • Sleep sounds - Babbling Brook
  • Ambient sounds - Ocean Sounds
  • Ambient sounds - Fireplace Sounds
  • Ambient sounds - Rain Forest Sounds

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.

— Buddha

Skill 8: Healthy Habits Guidance

One of the Amazon Alexa health skills that has become quite popular is the Healthy Habits skill. It has great reviews and is constantly growing. Like the daily goal skills, this cool feature takes things one bit at a time -- and over time, you'll add to your library of healthy habits that work for you, and that you want to remember and incorporate into your life.

In my own experience as a person trying to stay lean and fit, good habits and being consistent make a huge difference. While the Healthy Habits skill isn't specifically about diet, anyone planning to get healthy using Amazon Alexa health skills will realize that a gently daily reminder is truly powerful.

Skill 9: Alexa's Daily Health Tip

This one is a little like the last one, in that it keeps me on track in my daily efforts to keep muscle and lose fat. Alexa health skills are all pretty cool, but I like this one because it just gives you one little tip or improvement a day, and leaves it up to you to decide if it will work for you. I learned early on that I tend to bite off more than I can chew with a new fitness regimen. This skill helps fix that, by giving me a consistent and manageable amount of health information and potential goals. The example given by the developers is salt intake -- if this is the only thing you're trying to accomplish today, then there's a good chance you'll be successful.
There are 36 tips in all, and they rotate, so if you let one slip, you can count on being reminded of it in about a month!

Skill 10: A Very Cool Guided Meditation

This is a cool skill. Alexa remembers when you last meditated, and for how long, and will ask you what kind of meditation you're in the mood for. There's a "meditation of the day," too. Best of all, this skill is guided by a voice that *isn't Alexa* -- I don'tmind the Alexa voice, but to hear a different one coming out of the Amazon Echo is both unusual and welcome.

Here's a sweet video of the "fake Alexa" guiding the "Stop, Breathe, Think" meditation

Skill 11: Alexa Syncs with Your Fitbit

If you have a Fitbit or other body-metric information device (even if it's just for counting your steps so you can accurately chart your calories), you can sync it with Alexa. This very cool Alexa health skill opens up an entire world of seamlessly tracking he calories you burn, and keeping the data organized over long periods of time so you can study your progress. If you know what you did to make progress, then you can do it again -- and if what you were doing didn't get you anywhere, you can ditch it.

Combine this skill with a good-quality bluetooth smart scale that measures your fat and muscle composition, and you'll be an unstoppable fitness machine.

Skill 12: A Dependable Workout Partner

Are you ready for a five-minute plank workout? I got up to three-and-a-half minutes once, and it nearly killed me, but Alexa has skills that just might get you to the five-minute mark. If you're not into planks (and believe, me I'm not anymore), but still want to get healthy, Alexa has plenty of cool and demanding workout regimens:

  • Five-Minute Workout
  • Five-Minute Plank Workout:
  • Seven-Minute Workout
  • My Workouts (custom record of what works for you)
  • Random Workout

Skill 13: Alexa Can Help You Breathe

Control your breathing, and control your stress. This one is excellent for me, since I often find myself hunched and breathing very shallow -- this goes along with feelings of stress. Breath control is best achieved with someone guiding you, and if you don't have a holistic health expert at your beck and call, Alexa is happy to fill in.

Skill 14: A Really Great Food Journal!

I'm big on food journals (in fact I have an article on CalorieBee that is all about some of the best food journals you can use to count your calories). A food journal is almost always the first step in losing weight and getting lean. Writing down everything you eat for a week is almost always an eye-opening experience, if not an alarming one -- who knew you ate THAT?

The trouble with food journals is that they're a pain in the butt. Whether you actually keep a tidy little notebook to jot down every morsel for a week, or you try to do it on your phone or tablet, it's simply a drag and VERY easy to cheat -- or "forget" that, oh yeah, I guess I forgot to write down that second doughnut two days ago. Well, my friend, Alexa doesn't forget. To lose weight with Alexa, all you do is recite your intake whenever you can throughout the day, and this amazing Alexa health skill takes it from there.

I myself have not used this skill, but I have used a food journal for years to lose weight. Alexa just makes it easier. According to one review, "You don’t even need to open your Fitbit application, look up food and choose it: all you need is to say, 'Alexa, ask Food Journal to log a slice of pizza.' It’s a much more intuitive and simpler way to track what you eat than regular typing-in."

Here are some more skill prompts:

  • “Alexa, launch Food Journal!”
  • “Alexa, tell Food Journal I had two slices of sausage pizza”
  • “Alexa, ask Food Journal to add a glass of skim milk”
  • “Alexa, tell Food Journal I had three slices of bacon”

Skill 15: Alexa Is a Yoga Nidra Guide

If you have seen health benefits from yoga, the Echo's Yoga Nidra health skill will appeal to you. "A yogic nidra" is essentially a guided power nap, a way of attaining a higher level of relaxation. This skill includes an audio track that leads you into a state of deep relaxation, akin to a 20-minute power nap. You control this process with voice commands like "pause," "resume," and "start over."

My body really reacts well to not eating a lot of wheat or dairy and staying on healthy foods.

— Bella Hadid

Skill 16: Get Lean With Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers is a $1.7 billion dollar company -- quite an impressive feat, given its modest beginnings in 1963 as the brainchild of a Queens, New York housewife. This Amazon Alexa health skill is essentially a weight-tracking app, with the usual Alexa benefit of simply telling her how much you weigh at the same time every day. Alexa will keep track of your data, and can help you understand what works for you and what doesn't. I know that when I have access to that kind of data, be it steps walked per day or body-fat percentage, I don't have to rely on my faulty memory to keep me on track to my fitness goals.

Skill 17: Maintain Your Health With a Virtual Nurse

The Alexa "Virtual Nurse" skill can provide you with information about medications, first aid, and your symptoms. For example, you can ask Alexa:

  • Tell me the normal temperature of a baby
  • How do I perform CPR?
  • What are the symptoms of heatstroke?
  • What is the emergency number in this area?

The people behind Virtual Nurse are constantly updating the features of this skill, so there's a good chance that there are cool new things that it can do. In addition, content is facilitated by NHS Choices for quality assurance.

NOTE: Virtual Nurse is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment or diagnosis of any medical condition. Call your doctor to receive medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, please always dial 911 (US).

Skill 18: Sugar Mate -- An Alexa Health Skill for Diabetics

This skill integrates with the Dexcom CGM glucose meter to allow you to ask Alexa about your latest glucose readings. I myself am not diabetic, so I have not used this skill, but if it's anything like the seamless experience I have had with other Alexa skills, it's going to make things easier. According to the developers, "you will be guided through the setup process when you link your account (you do not need to be a Sugarmate for iOS user)."

Skill 19: My Boxing Coach (Get Physical With Alexa!)

Alexa has a cool boxing-coach skill that guides a demanding boxing workout. The exercises were designed by consulting real-life boxing coaches, and can go for as long as 12 3-minute rounds -- if you have ever done a boxing workout regimen, you know that this would be tremendously challenging. My maximum is about three rounds, with a break between rounds for my cut-man to stitch me up...

The intense cardio of boxing is a great way to get healthy Alexa uses drill-based punching exercises, so it gives you a varied workout -- no two rounds are the same. This is where the real-life boxing coaches come in. These guys are not going to give you an easy time.

Skill 20: Track Your Water Intake with Alexa

One of the first things I learned when I decided to get in shape was the importance of drinking water. It helps you metabolize food better, which helps you control your calorie intake and ultimately lose weight. Alexa makes this process easier.

This simple but effective Alexa health skill requires a little more tech savvy than some of the others -- you will need to link it with your H2OPal iPhone app, which is free and easy to download onto your phone. Once you have the app and the Alexa skill synced, you're ready to acquire data about your own water intake that will help you make decisions about your health. You can check your water intake at any time during the day either through the app or Alexa.

This skill, like other Alexa skills, can integrate with your Fitbit, giving you even more tracking power for your body and health metrics.

Other Good Weight-Loss Resources on Caloriebee.com and Delishably.com

Here are some good resources if you're ready to get serious and commit to using your healthy shopping list to eat smart:

Resources

The following sources were consulted for this article:

https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Health-Fitness-Skills-Alexa-44449690

https://www.tomsguide.com/us/pictures-story/1045-alexa-skills-health-fitness.html

https://www.the-ambient.com/guides/best-amazon-alexa-skills-187

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      8 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Hello Natalie, I agreed with you.

    • Natalie Frank profile image

      Natalie Frank 

      8 months ago from Chicago, IL

      This is such a useful article. It's always great when someone show you how to use technology in a way that's meaningful for their life. We get so used to using it in the same ways all the time we fail to think outside the box. Thanks for the article.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      9 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This article is eye-opening for me. I didn't realize that the Amazon Echo could do so many things. It sounds like Alexa can be very helpful!

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      9 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Hi Greenmind, thanks for the feedback. Have a nice time.

    • greenmind profile imageAUTHOR

      GreenMind Guides 

      9 months ago from USA

      Thank you my friend! The Echo unit is actually hardware, but the program inside counts as software -- it's basically a huge suite of apps. The cost of the 2nd-generation unit is $99 (on Amazon of course).

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      9 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Hello Greenmind, this is cool. I take it it is a software. What is the cost?

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, caloriebee.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://caloriebee.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)