I’ve demanded a lot of my body over the years. When I was shooting Power Rangers at 18, I was doing a lot of fight scenes, often in heels with a visor on my face that allowed for only two inches of visibility. Teen Wolf was another physically demanding set with a lot of fight scenes happening in the middle of the night, and many scenes running through the woods. Filming Reign presented a different but nonetheless physical challenge—there was horseback riding and standing all day in those dresses and corsets. I’ve even twisted my knee a few times in the woods.
In one scene for Once Upon a Time, I was fighting off an attacker in a parking garage and had to fall and roll about 20 times. While we were filming, I wasn’t thinking about the toll the stunt was taking—I was doing the motions over and over again.
The next day, I was surprised to find that my left leg—from calf to thigh—was black and blue. A massive bruise formed, and I hadn’t even felt it. It took me a while to realize that I should respect the incredible things my body did for me.
I started to recognize the work I needed to do to take care of myself after my first season of Reign, when I was 24. It was the most intense work schedule I’d ever been on. I learned quickly that I couldn’t cheat myself of sleep or skip meals because I wanted to work on my lines.
Ultimately, I had to be more considerate of my body and its needs. And over the last few years, my mindset has changed from “I need to take care of myself for work” to “I need to take care of myself for me.”
Watch Adelaide Kane talk about what she loves most about her body:
Releasing the mentality that something has to be intense to be effective or worthwhile has helped a lot. Whether on set or in the gym, I don’t get down on myself for taking it easy. If I do 10 minutes of yoga in the morning before I go to work, that’s a win.
To feel connected to my body doesn’t require over-exhaustion. I’m grateful for what my body can do when I put my mind to it, even down to little things like going on a hike or taking a leisurely walk to a coffee shop instead of driving. It takes real strength to prioritize being kind to yourself.
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2023 issue of Women's Health.
Lydia Wang is the love & life editor at Women’s Health, where she writes and edits articles about sex, relationships, identity, and pop culture. She lives in New York and spends way too much of her free time reading romance novels in coffee shops and tweeting about her favorite dating shows.