Gabrielle Union Got Real About What Motivates Her To Work Out & It's Such A Mood

by Julia Guerra
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Let’s be honest: It really doesn’t matter if you’ve just started working out on a regular basis or you're a seasoned athlete; the incentive to exercise comes and goes. Finding the motivation to work out is arguably the bigger half of the battle — the other half being actually doing the damn thing — so when Gabrielle Union revealed what motivates her to work out on those inevitable murky mornings when you’d much rather stay in bed (for her, it's a strong dose of caffeine and the reminder of commitment), I could definitely see where the actress was coming from. You may not always feel like working out, but the reason to get up and move is always there if you want to find it (though no judgment here if you don’t).

The L.A.’s Finest actress and new mama recently sat down with Women’s Health to dish on all things #momlife, her experience with a surrogate, and how she takes care of her overall well-being — which, for that last one, includes lots of sunshine, good books, a balanced diet, and an active lifestyle. “Give me a trail, a park, a walk down the street with the dogs, a breeze, rain,” she told Women's Health. “I’ll go hike. I’ll get a lawn chair and sit outside my trailer” — anything that gets Union outside surrounded by sun and fresh air, count her in, she said.

Making sure she’s getting a generous dose of vitamin D is only part of the 46-year-old actor’s wellness regimen, though. Per Women’s Health, Union paints the picture of a well-rounded healthy lifestyle in which she can enjoy a big plate of parmesan French fries, and still feel amazing in her body, too. Balance doesn’t come easily for everyone, but Union said she’s figured out what works for her: 15 to 20 minutes of daily cardio, a mix of strength training and pilates, and, ideally, getting her sweat on first thing in the morning — notice how I said “ideally.”

“You know how you swing your legs off to the side of the bed?” Union said during the interview. “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?'"

Translation: Despite her A-list status, Gabrielle Union is, above all, human, and sometimes the last thing she wants to do is hit the gym first thing in the morning. On the days when this sort of never-ending trail of thoughts pops into her head, though, Union told Women’s Health that a cold-brew coffee, and the desire to not cancel last-minute and leave her trainer — or her hubby, Miami Heat star, Dwayne Wade — hanging, is what gets her moving.

IMO, what makes Union even more relatable is that she doesn't seem to be one of those people who feels like she has to work out every single morning, or that she simply cannot go a day without getting her sweat on. Back in August of 2017, the Bring It On legend revealed to Health that the main reason she works out in the first place is because of her family's history with diabetes and heart disease. "Knowing what I can do to prevent that has been a huge thing," she said. So even if cold brew doesn't do it for her, I'm sure knowing that getting a workout in will ultimately contribute to her health in the long run is motivation enough.

Again, there are plenty of reasons to work out, but there’s also a laundry list of reasons why, sometimes, you genuinely just don’t feel like hitting the gym or going for a run — and that's OK. Balance is key, and from what I can tell, Union has balance down-pat: She puts her health first, but she also listens to her body and gives it what it wants — whether that's an intense workout at the crack of dawn, or a few extra hours of sleep followed by a short stack of pancakes. She told Health,

You know, my grandma lived to be 110, and she drank alcohol, like, every day. I don’t drink every day. But if somebody’s like, "Shots!" I’m like, "Yes!" If someone says, "Bacon!" I’m like, "Yes!" She lived. I definitely live.