Lance Bass Gets Real About the Health Problem That Affects Him Every Day

Updated: Mar. 05, 2024

Plus, the self-care practices he uses as a pop icon who's still forever on-the-go and a dad of two busy toddlers.

For Lance Bass, life is a delicate balancing act. Between film and television appearances, raising two young twins with his husband, and of course making those *NSYNC TikToks that kicked up rumors of a reunion last year, the 44-year-old knows how to juggle competing responsibilities—and he knows how easy it is for something to throw things out of whack.
As one of the members of the group who’s stayed most visible since they went separate ways, Bass has tons to manage—but anyone with seasonal allergies knows that can get tough this time of year. Bass has partnered with Allegra Airways on a new digital tool that shows “real-time routes with less air pollen and pollution, backed by live air quality data,” according to its website. Bass chatted with The Healthy by Reader’s Digest about how crucial managing his allergies is in his day-to-day life, the new challenges he’s facing as a father, and his go-to self-care routine.

The Healthy by Reader’s Digest: Lance, you’re a legend, and you’ve got more going on than ever. Let’s start with family: Can you talk to me about how fatherhood is going?

Lance Bass: I mean, it’s been incredible. It’s better than I ever could have thought. Twins did scare me a little bit because you know that you’re not gonna get hardly any sleep. And it is true. But the good news is that we started with two. So I think it would have been a lot harder if I had one and then went on to realize how one is just a lot easier. But they’ve been such good kids that they make it easy for us. You know, one is crying, the other one’s laughing. They never have a meltdown at the same time, thank goodness. Two and a half years and they’re still giving us those kinds of gifts. So, hopefully, knock on wood, that lasts.

The Healthy: Parents never get a day off, even when you’re not feeling 100%. What inspired you to partner with Allegra? Do you know what you’re allergic to, and how does that manifest for you? 

Lance Bass: Yeah, yes, I definitely suffer from allergies. It got worse as I got older. Then there were a lot of times where maybe I did have more allergies than I thought as a kid, but I just dealt with it. Now we’re way more educated about it, but growing up in the south in Mississippi, living in New York for so many years, living in L.A. so many years, it’s such different climates that my allergies are different everywhere I go. And I’m a huge outdoor enthusiast, so I know how these allergies really affect my everyday routine. I did take one of those allergy tests and found out I’m allergic to a lot of things, like oak and grass and all that. But the main thing that I’m really learning about is this air pollution that is really causing way more allergies, and it’s just getting worse.

So I’m excited to team up with Allegra because they have come up with this incredible new mapping tool. I love my hikes, so this is going to be so perfect for me. So it’s Allegra Airways, and it lets you find the cleanest routes to go about your day. If you’re hiking or even just running errands, it’ll take you through the best areas where they know your allergies that you suffer with are better.

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The Healthy: What a cool tool, and you’ve traveled a ton for work over the years. What are some of your classic solutions for relief?

Lance Bass: I’m always cleaning out my nose. I’ve learned how to do that, the salt routine is really good. And then just really knowing what I’m allergic to, like right now I’m staring out in the backyard and I have this huge oak tree, which is one of my top allergies. So throughout the season I know exactly what it’s going to do to me, and I know in the next few weeks it is about to have a lot of pollen on it and it’s going to be nuts. So I know I’m not going to be able to go in my backyard for a couple of months now. I’m glad that Allegra Airways is going to send me on different routes through Los Angeles. 

Lance Bass with Allegra Airways on phonecourtesy Lance Bass

The Healthy: I heard you’re training for a 5K—is running your go-to workout? 

Lance Bass: I mean, throughout my life, I’ll be really good at exercise, and then I’ll fall off for a few months, and then I’ll get really good at it again. But you know, the older I get, the more I know I have to really work on my health. And for me, I love cardio. I love walking. Running’s not so great on my back these days, but I do love hiking and walking. And then I have one of those machines at home that’s on the wall, and it’s so great because in my life it’s really hard to get to the gym, which really kind of gets me out of exercise. A lot is just thinking, “OK, I can’t beat the traffic today,” or “I just don’t have 30 minutes to find parking here.” So having something set up at my house has been really great, because if you do have 15 or 20 minutes of free time, you just go back there and attack something real quickly. And I’m really getting way better at it. 

The Healthy: Well, whether it’s cardio or dancing for hours onstage, it’s clear that you know how to fuel your body for a big workout. Do you have any favorite healthy snacks you reach for before you exert a lot of energy? 

Lance Bass: I love nuts. I love a handful of almonds and cashews and walnuts. It really does give me a lot of great energy. I have diabetes, so that’s limited a lot of the things that I can eat for my energy, I can’t have all those heavy carbs and lots of sugar and those power drinks. I like my ice green tea lots and lots and lots and lots of water, and then to give me energy, that’s what I go to is just a handful of mixed nuts. 

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The Healthy: Our team loves the benefits of nuts! We just closed out American Heart Month in February. You found out you had an arrhythmia when you were in your early twenties. We often report on how important it is to be proactive about heart health in particular. Can you speak to what you learned from that experience?

Lance Bass: You know, when I found my arrhythmia, I was young, I was a kid, like 20, 21. So I wasn’t even thinking about having a heart problem at that age. When you’re at the doctor, you don’t even think about talking to him about it. So I had a stomach virus on tour and I remember I was in Florida and so I went to the hospital just to get some IVs and get hydrated again so I could go back on the tour. But then they ended up admitting me for a few days because they found that my heart was not beating regularly. That’s when I also started entering Russian cosmonaut training, and you can’t become a cosmonaut with an irregular heartbeat. And that’s when we had to go into surgery to fix that just so I could go into training, although it was benign. 

The Healthy: So walking away from that, was it a wake up call for you about your health? 

Lance Bass: Yeah, it was really the first time that I started thinking about my body. And I was just a dumb kid, destroying myself, my knees, everything, you know, you’ll get over that you’re young. But it was the first time that I started realizing like, wow, you have to really listen to your body, start taking care of your body. And this was the first time I started thinking about my heart. So ever since, I’ve been really good at making sure my heart is healthy. 

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The Healthy: For sure—and especially as a parent of little ones, can you tell me a self-care practice that you never skip? 

Lance Bass: You know—and again, I learned this later on in life—but meditation, just getting quiet, especially in the business I’m in, it’s just constantly crazy schedules and your brain is always firing. So I need that daily meditation where I just try to shut my brain off as much as possible. And it really does reset you and clears your mind. I really need that these days, especially with kids. So that’s something I’ve really found later in life, but I’m just really loving.