Sarah Michelle Gellar On Streaming Workouts, Growing Vegetables, and Sanitizing Airplane Seats

Here's how her approach to fitness has changed since her vampire-slaying days.

Photo: Getty Images

Sarah Michelle Gellar was sanitizing her own plane seat with wipes before COVID-19, social distancing, and masking were part of anyone's vocabulary, she tells Shape over Zoom with pride. So it's no surprise she teamed up with Rite Aid to help spread the word about getting the flu shot ahead of flu season this year.

"Nobody wants to get the flu. There's nothing complicated about that discussion," she says. As someone with asthma, Gellar understands not everyone fights off illnesses the same way, adding that getting vaccinated not only helps you, but everyone around you.

While getting vaccinated against the flu is one way to stay healthy, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer actress also uses food to feel her best. "I think nutrition is actually the basis for all of it [staying healthy] because it affects how we use our energy, how we sleep, all of those things," she says. Her family, including husband Freddie Prinze Jr., is filled with "big foodies," she adds, noting they grow many of their own vegetables at home.

Exercise also plays a role in Gellar's healthy lifestyle, but she approaches working out differently now than she did back in her vampire-slaying days. "I think it's become more emotional. [Exercise] used to be, sort of, 'I have to do this, this is my job, this is work.' But I think there's an emotional component too, which is, it's what clears my mind," explains the mom of two. "When I work out for an hour, I can sort of let everything else go, and I just focus on whatever the movement is and making sure it's correct," she continues, adding that this mindset makes exercise "less of a chore."

As for how she incorporates movement into her routine, "it's complicated," she says, explaining that she's currently commuting back and forth from Los Angeles to Atlanta, where she's filming the new Paramount+ seres Wolf Pack, a spin-off of Teen Wolf. When she's in L.A., you can find her at The Studio (MDR) or Pilates Platinum. Both are Pilates studios that use the Megaformer, a spring-loaded resistance machine similar to the classic Pilates reformer. "It's some of the hardest strength and core work I've done," says Gellar.

When she's staying in a hotel while working in Atlanta, she relies on subscription services to get in her workout away from her usual studios and the canyon trails near her home where she enjoys hiking with her family and dogs. "Yes, I'm biased, but I happen to love Amanda Kloots' subscription service, and I use it a lot," says Gellar. Her hotel has a yoga room, and when it's available, she uses it to put one of Kloot's workouts on the big screen. "I feel like I'm in one of her classes, which makes me really happy."

And if you're wondering whether or not she and Prinze work out together, unless it's a hike with the family, she usually lets him do his own thing in the gym. "He's very big into boxing which, to be honest, I'm, like, way too lazy," the actress says with a laugh. "I love it, but I am just too lazy for that."

Gellar sees her healthy eating and movement habits as part of her skin-care routine too. "I think that's a huge part of it," she says. "I treat my skin nicely, and it's not necessarily this specific product per se...But it's about making sure that every night, I wash my face," she explains. "And it's not just wash it and go to bed," she adds. "I wash it, I rub it, I prep it, I give it minerals, you know, the same way you would treat the rest of your body."

As for how she treats herself, Gellar likes to unwind with a bath and a book. To her, self care "is reminding myself that sometimes, to take care of others, I have to take care of myself," she says. "I've been flying a lot and it's the old adage of put your mask on first and then you put your child's on," she adds. "And it's counterintuitive because as a parent, you just want to take care of your child, but the truth is if I don't take care of me, I can't take care of you. So that, to me, is self care."

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles