'Black Panther' Star Danai Gurira Reveals Diet And Exercise Tips

Samantha Chang

Black Panther star Danai Gurira was able to convincingly pull off the part of fierce Wakandan warrior Okoye, thanks to her lifelong dedication to diet and exercise.

The athletic 5-foot-7 Gurira has been a fitness fanatic all her life, dating back to teenage school days when she competed in swimming, track and field, and field hockey. So it's no surprise that Danai has an impressive, age-defying bikini body at 40.

"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 told Women's Health.

Gurira, who also starred on the AMC TV series The Walking Dead, also showcased her athletic flair in the 2018 action flick, Avengers: Infinity War.

Like other workout buffs, Danai exercises not only to look good but to feel her best.

"Taking care of my body, knowing I'll never get another, is one of my top priorities," Danai told Self. "I'm happiest when I feel strong," she says. "And I do what I need to do to get there."

She said she enjoys eating vegetables because her parents always forced her to eat her spinach as a child. Now she loves spinach, even though she didn't always feel that way.

Danai Gurira says she always makes time to exercise every day no matter how busy she is, even if it's just for a few minutes. Working out energizes her, even after a grueling 14-hour day of shooting.

"There's always enough time in the day to get in a 20-minute workout," she said.

Gurira, who trained for the intense fight scenes in Black Panther, says she cross-trains to work all her major muscle groups. She especially focuses on her glutes and abs, because having a strong core helps with balance and stability.

While Gurira often works out with a fitness trainer, she always keeps little dumbbells at home and in her trailer because exercise is an investment in yourself that always returns dividends.