Welcome to Deep Dives, a new Health video series where inspiring people talk about a health topic that's meaningful to them and share relatable stories around health and wellness. Watch Sarah Michelle Gellar's Deep Dive above!
Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, 44, can't remember a time in her life when she wasn't aware that she had asthma. "I was diagnosed with asthma as a young child," Gellar tells Health. That said, she hasn't let this chronic condition—which causes airways to swell and leads to coughing, wheezing, and breathing difficulties—prevent her from achieving her goals. "Asthma has never stopped me from being physical," the Buffy the Vampire Slayer actress explains while working out in the video above.
Asthma affects everyone in Gellar's immediate family as well; her two children are asthmatic, and husband Freddie Prinze Jr., whom Gellar married in 2002, also occasionally suffers from asthma, she says.
However, the pandemic forced her to reckon with her condition, since COVID-19 is more dangerous for people with asthma. "These last two years we've obviously been faced with a pandemic that is a viral respiratory illness," she says. "You realize how much is really at stake for anyone like myself who suffers."
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This reality hit her (and many other patients suffering with a respiratory condition) in March 2020. "When the pandemic first hit, anyone with asthma knows that breathing is a challenge and it's something that we have to think about," she recalls. "If we were to get COVID, my body would have a harder time fighting that, breathing through it. It heightens it for anyone who suffers from asthma."
After realizing the potential consequences of contracting COVID-19 as an asthma patient, Gellar committed herself to caring for her body, which includes communicating with her doctors and taking her asthma medications regularly. "I have to listen to my own body," she adds. "For me, it's part of my life."
Watch the rest of Gellar's deep dive in the video above.
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