I am always having to look up short workouts that I can do at home while I am either working or just hanging around the house. Instead of going out to Google every time that I want to do a short workout I decided to create an Alexa skill that I can get a random five or ten minute workout from whenever I want.
What it does
Whenever you invoke the Workouts at home skill it will ask you whether or not you want a five minute or ten minute workout. Each option provides you with a workout that can be done in the allotted amount of time and that you can perform without special equipment.
How I built it
I built this skill using the Alexa skill builder console. I used a Lambda function built in JSON that works similarly to a random facts skill. You request for a five or ten minute workout and Alexa picks a random number and then uses that number to pick from an array of options for each given time span.
Challenges I ran into
I have built Alexa skills in the past, but the console has changed since I last used it. I had to relearn where everything was located and also had to figure out how to invoke the correct exit commands. In the past whenever you told Alexa to exit it was already built into the skills you made, but that seems to have changed as of recent.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I am proud that I was able to develop a skill after a year out of practice and be able to get it through certification with little to no hiccups. Last time I developed a skill there were quite a few problems each time I went to get it certified. This time around I had a couple of issues, but the second time it went through super fast!
What I learned
I learned a lot more about JSON since I had only used it a couple of times before when I made a skill over a year ago. I got to learn about conditional statements and random number generation that I hadn't known about before. I plan to use what I learned and continue to learn new things about JSON so I can create more interactive skills in the future.
What's next for Workouts at home
I will continue to add five and ten minute workouts to the list of available workouts so that more options are available. I will also look into adding fifteen and thirty minute workouts as options. I plan to eventually add the option to tell Alexa what equipment you own so that it can decide on an appropriate workout. So if you have weights, a treadmill, exercise ball, etc. it will be able to provide exercises around those.