Even if you’re not a fan of AMC’s popular series The Walking Dead, you know Danai Gurira as the fierce general Okoye in Black Panther. She reprised the role later in Avengers: Infinity War. At 40, the Zimbabwe-American actress has hit a high in her career. On the horizon, look for Gurira in Americanah, a TV adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s award-winning novel.
To do all she does — moving like a true warrior on screen, beastin’ the physical demands of those fight scenes — aren’t you itching to know how she’s sculpted that lean figure? Us too! In the July/August issue of Women’s Health, Gurira talks about she takes care of her body. Here’s what we learned:
She can swim. “I don’t remember ever not being able to swim. It’s a stunning form of exercise, and the lack of impact on the body at the same time is amazing.”
Gurira eats healthy. Example from her dinner menu (salmon, Brussels sprouts and spinach). She’s a self-described “pesca-vegan”, and stays away from most meats and dairy products.
She has a tough trainer. “Sometimes, it’s so intense I can’t remember what we did.” Her coach AJ Fisher prescribes circuit training, moving her from high-intensity routines to active rests that might include the Pilates 100. She works glutes in every session – “key for posture and balance,” Fisher says.
She works out on the go. The actress wears a heart rate monitor to gauge how hard she’s working, and packs resistance bands to get it in where ever she is.
Consistency is important to her. “If I haven’t worked out, if I haven’t exercised and connected with my body in some way, it chips away at my feeling of well-being.”
Gurira hopes other women can learn the joy of exercise by trying different activities like lifting weights or boxing. “It’s just about slowly finding what feels good and what feels rewarding.
Stacy Julien is editor in-chief of Crush Magazine. Follow her on Instagram at stacyjs_fitlife.