The Year of the Smart Speaker: Your New Wellness Coach

Smart speakers continue to be one of the most popular gifts. And it’s no wonder: They aren’t super expensive and have all kinds of cool tricks they can perform, like calling you a ride, dimming your lights or helping you find your phone. But they aren’t just for entertainment: Smart speakers can also be used to help you sleep better, eat healthier and feel more motivated to exercise.

A great way to get health updates right to your speaker is by enabling Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s new MI Blue Skill for Amazon Alexa. Learn more on enabling the process here.

In addition to MI Blue, there are many ways you can use your smart speaker to improve your personal wellness:

Mind

  • Feel inspired: Start your day off with daily inspiration and a boost of positive energy by having your smart speaker read a motivational quote or mantra.
  • Create the perfect atmosphere for meditating: If you’re in the mood to meditate, turn your smart speaker into an ambient noise machine by having it play sounds of the rain, ocean or thunderstorms. Enable guided meditation or your favorite mindfulness app for a personal, more in-depth guided meditation experience. The calming effect is perfect before going to bed or helping you center yourself at the start of the day. For Alexa-enabled devices, just say “Alexa, ask MI Blue for a meditation session.”
  • Get a good night’s sleep: It’s important to have a nighttime routine so that your mind and body are prepared for sleep. Have your smart speaker play a soothing bedtime playlist or even read you a bedtime story. And if you want to take a short mid-day nap, use your device as an alarm.

Fitness

  • Get help getting fit: Your smart speaker may come with some fitness apps already pre-downloaded, but you might want to add a few more. 5-Minute Plank and Fitstar are two that will lead you through a guided workout at home. You can also say, “Alexa, ask MI Blue for a workout.”
  • Set a workout reminder: You can set a recurring reminder to have your device nudge you to work out every day. No more “I forgot” excuses!
  • Jam out: No workout is complete without some tunes to keep you motivated. Have your device play your favorite workout mix and you’ll find it a lot harder to skip out on your workout.

Prevention

  • Get your daily dose: Utilize your device’s reminder and calendar functions to help you remember to take medications or daily vitamins. For those with a long list of medications, it can also help remind you which ones to take and when.
  • Connect your home: If you have an older loved one who needs some assistance at home, you can use the smart speaker to help them turn on the lights, adjust the thermostat or call for help in case of a fall.

Food

  • Cooking math made easy: Move your smart speaker to the kitchen and you’ll have some help if you want to eat better. Not only can your device convert units (how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon again?) and suggest nutritious recipes, but it can also tell you nutritional facts like calories and fat grams for different ingredients. You can even get healthy and delicious dietitian-approved recipes from A Healthier Michigan by saying, “Alexa, ask MI Blue for a healthy recipe.”
  • Stick to your meal plan: Eating healthy starts at the grocery store. Use your speaker to add foods to your shopping list while taking inventory of the fridge, then just check the mobile app while at the grocery store to see what you need. Say goodbye to forgetting your grocery list!
  • Start saving money: Reduce food waste by enabling Save The Food on your speaker. It can help you correctly store foods so they last longer and can tell you how to know when something has gone bad.

Community

  • Get Michigan updates: Stay connected to what’s going on in your area by using your smart speaker to tune into local or national news, get a traffic update before heading out the door or check the weather forecast for the day.
  • Choose an activity: Your digital assistant can also help you find local restaurants, give you daily Michigan sports update or even tell you what movies are playing for your date night.


Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

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