Uzo Aduba's Running Journey: How It Boosts Her Mental Health


Dec. 2 2023, Updated 6:08 a.m. ET

Running is therapeutic—you’ve probably heard this phrase many times, and Uzo Aduba understands its truth. Born and raised in Boston, the NIgerian actress is known for leading roles in for shows like Orange Is The New Black and In Treatment.

What you may not know is that throughout most of her life, Aduba has had a running routine that keeps her fit and has incredible mental health benefits.

Uzo Aduba Went From Sprinter to Marathon Runner

Growing up, Aduba was a sprinter in high school and during her time at Boston University, which she attended on a track scholarship.

Following graduation and a move to New York City to pursue acting, Aduba switched to distance running — and in 2019 to prepare for the Boston Marathon, she ran 5 miles every day and at least 10 miles on weekends.

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Along with the mental health benefits, Aduba also occasionally runs to spread awareness to cause close to her heart, as she did at the Boston Marathon, where she ran to raise money for cancer research after losing a friend and her cousin, and seeing her aunt battle the disease.

Uzo Aduba Is Inspired By Her Family to Continue Running

While she’s not running marathons every year, running is still a huge part of Aduba’s daily routine, and has helped her develop a mental focus and discipline.

“I’m driven by setting small goals. Love watching myself pass a goal mark I’ve set and seeing those goals grow into large goals,” she said in an interview with Hoka about what motivates her running. “The idea that the work I put in today can make me both physically and mentally stronger tomorrow motivates me.”

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She continued, “Everyone has their own personal records that need breaking. Take the first step towards them and you will see these records shattered!”

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Uzo Aduba Advocates For Any Type of Exercise for Physical and Mental Health

“I find that there’s something meditative about it that I love. It’s very cleansing of the mind, body, and spirit,” she told Radiant Health Mag of the importance of exercise. “Physically, it strengthens the body because it gives the whole body an aerobic workout. I love strong-bodied, strong-minded women and girls who are committed to owning their power. Every woman should seek strength in life.”

If running is not your thing, don’t worry. For Aduba, any kind of exercise “from a health perspective as well as a spiritual and emotional perspective.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

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