Gabrielle Union's Healthy Living Advice Will Instantly Boost Your Mood

If you don't mind setting an early a.m. alarm, that is.

Gabrielle Union, 46, has always been a workout buff. Like Jennifer Lopez and A-Rod, she and her husband, Miami Heat basketball player Dwayne Wade, often post photos and videos of their couples' workouts, which feature a mix of cardio, weights, and some shooting contests in the basketball court at their California home.

But, recently, the Wade family went through a pretty massive change. After suffering through eight or nine miscarriages and years of failed IVF treatments due to adenomyosis—a condition in which endometrial tissue exists within and grows into the uterine wall—Union and Wade finally welcomed a baby girl via surrogate into their family last fall.

In the cover feature of the March issue of Women's Health, Union opens up about the fact that giving up on ever carrying a child to term "felt like surrendering to failure," but when Kaavia James Union Wade arrived, she knew that this was her baby, and she was happy that she had waited until her 40s to become a mom.

"Any earlier and the FOMO would have greatly influenced how I parented," she said. "I've seen it. I've done it. I've done it well. I've gotten all the T-shirts. Now I'm in the right mindset and mental space, and I'm open to being the best mom I can be."

But that doesn't mean she's letting her exercise regime slide. In fact, working out—which has been scientifically proven to boost your mood—is what she credits for maintaining her wellbeing, and she especially touts the benefits of doing so in the morning. Mind you, she's not a morning person.

"You know how you swing your legs off to the side of the bed?" she asks. "That's when you really think about life's decisions: How much would it cost if I cancel? What does traffic look like? Should I go back to sleep?"

She credits the cold brew coffee and the buddy system for getting her up and out of bed to do at least 20 minutes of cardio, along with strength training and Pilates. And when she's not on the set of her BET drama, Being Mary Jane, she spends as much time staying active outside as possible.

"I need sun," she said. "I need vitamin D on my face. Give me a trail, a park, a walk down the street with the dogs, a breeze, rain. I'll go hike. I'll get a lawn chair and sit outside my trailer so I'm not trapped inside."

While she allows herself the occasional indulgence, she also maintains a diet that is dairy and gluten free, low-sodium, and full of good fats, which she first adopted in 2018 to combat the side effects of her IVF treatment. Before that, she said she suffered from intense bloating ("At 9 a.m. I had a flat stomach. By noon I looked like I was five months pregnant"), hair loss, and a "face that looked like the surface of the moon."

Alisa Vitti, a functional nutritional and woman's hormone expert, told her to cut out all gluten, dairy, alcohol, and caffeine. "I felt like she was trying to torture me," Union said. But once she noticed how much of a difference it made, she did it for six weeks. "Then I was like, 'I need a drink!'"

And if you're looking to get your blood pumping bright and early, don't miss these 5 Easy Ways to Become a Morning Workout Machine.

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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