'Outlander' Stars Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe Share Their Secrets to Staying Fit

"You just have to be in shape or you’ll get injured or ill."

Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe
(Image credit: KATHRYN WIRSING)

There are a lot of people who care about Sam Heughan's body—and Sam Heughan is one of them.

Sam Heughan gif

(Image credit: Starz)

The Outlander (opens in new tab) star and incredibly buff human is very vocal about his love for staying fit—Heughan founded My Peak Challenge (opens in new tab), a charitable fitness initiative that encourages a healthy lifestyle through a 12-month training and nutrition program. My Peak Challenge held its first-ever gathering (opens in new tab) in Glasgow last weekend, with fitness and Jamie Fraser fans flocking to Scotland to meet the kilt-clad stud in person.

But a few weeks before his big weekend—and ahead of the Outlander season 3 premiere (opens in new tab)we spoke with Heughan and his on-screen costar and love interest Caitriona Balfe (opens in new tab)—about what they do to stay fit, healthy, and happy.

Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sam Heughan: Probably guilt, isn’t it? Probably controlling. I don't know, I enjoy it certainly, and Outlander has given me the opportunity to sort of have that interaction with people and share my love of what I’m interested in. We have such responsive fans that I got the opportunity to create my own healthy lifestyle and charity fundraiser. I enjoy this and try to share it with other people.

Caitriona Balfe: For him, it’s not just about for work. When you don’t get to work out...

S: I'm mental.

C: I think it’s a real release for you and something you love doing.

S: I love challenges, I love goals and picking a goal and working at it, which is true for most aspects of my life. But it’s about having a structure in this industry. For me, if you’re not working on who you are, you have something to work on outside of it.

C: Yeah, I'm not like that!

S: See exactly! But she does.

C: I mean, I don’t eat crap, I like to eat healthily, most of the time. And it depends. For me, if I have the choice between an extra 45 minutes in bed or getting up at 4:30AM to go to the gym, I will always choose bed. But when I was in South Africa, it was great, because with the structure we had there, I was able to fit in two yoga classes during the week. When I’m not on a crazy schedule, I’ll try to do yoga or the gym once or twice a week. So it’s not like I’m not doing anything, but when I’m working five days a week, 14 hours day, generally no.

But I think our job also, you're constantly—we are very active at work whether it’s horse riding or running around, being on your feet.

S: It’s so physical.

C: Carrying those dresses!

S: You just have to [be in shape] or you’ll get injured or ill and this job is so intense that we’re close to getting that all the time. It’s full-on. And these are the ways we keep ourselves going.

Sally is the Editor in Chief of Marie Claire where she oversees coverage of all the things the Marie Claire reader wants to know about, including politics, beauty, fashion, and celebs. She came to Marie Claire from ELLE.com, where she was the Executive Editor. Before that, Sally was at NYMag.com's the Cut and graduated with an English major from Boston College. Her favorite Harry Potter is 'Order of the Phoenix.'