Women's Interest

Fitness Q&A: Making Fitness Crystal Clear (Dec. 2012)

Fitness Expert, Crystal Gaynor
Crystal Gaynor
Written by Crystal Gaynor

Your abdominal muscles are like every other muscle in the body. They require work and rest. Three times a week for 10-15 minutes a session is a good amount of time to work your abs. Your workout should include exercises for the entire abdominal family. The Bicycle will target all three groups, when you are short on time.

Fitness at your best! A workout routine is something that should be a part of every woman’s daily schedule.  Whether you are lifting weights for an hour a day, or running for just 10 minutes each morning, make sure you get the most out of your workout. Crystal Gaynor works with Identity to help readers make their fitness routine ‘Crystal Clear.’

Crystal Gaynor - Fitness ExpertCrystal Gaynor, Making Fitness Crystal Clear

Dear Crystal,

QUESTION: I’m 22 years old and saddlebag thighs run in my family.  I want to do whatever I can to keep them at bay as long as possible.  What exercises should I incorporate into my workout to prevent saddlebags in my future?  My fitness consists of a Spin class 3 times per weeks. -Lisa L. 22, NJ

Dear Lisa,
Genetics can play a factor in weight and how it’s stored on the body.  Fortunately there are other factors to consider, such as lifestyle, diet, fitness and exercise.  Just because you may carry the gene for saddlebags, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have them in the future.  Consume a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins. Also exercise is key.  Here’s a great exercise that help to shape and strengthen your hips and thighs.  Kneel on your hands and knees (doggies position).  Next extend your right leg out to the side and place your toe on the floor.  Now lift the leg up and down tapping the floor each time.  Complete for 10 reps and switch sides. Work up to 3-4 sets of 10 reps.

QUESTION: I want to strengthen my abdominal muscles.  What exercises should I include in my fitness routine and just how much ab work is the right amount for my weekly workouts? – Kara J. 34, PA

Dear Kara,
Your abdominal muscles are like every other muscle in the body.  They require work and rest. Three times a week for 10-15 minutes a session is a good amount of time to work your abs.  Your workout should include exercises for the entire abdominal family.  The Bicycle will target all three groups, when you are short on time.

Lie on you back and place your hands behind your head.  Bring your knees into your chest. Now pick your head and shoulder blades up and extend you right leg out to a 45-degree angle while bringing your right elbow over toward your left knee. Alternate the knee to the elbow by twisting the torso to the right and then the left. Start with 10 reps and work your way up to 30.  One rep is a rotation to the right and then to the left.

QUESTION: I would like to participate in the fitness-aerobic classes at my gym, but they all seem to be a little intimidating for me.  After ten years of inactivity, I want to begin a workout program.  I used to love to dance and swim for exercise, so where should I start? – Maggie F. 42, OH

Dear Maggie,
First congratulations for getting back into the game.  I recommend doing the things you love, like dancing and/or swimming.  Join a beginners Zumba class at your gym.  If they don’t have one you can click on Zumba.com to find an open beginners class near you.  Also, check your local YMCA for swimming classes for adults.  Don’t let the gym environment intimidate you.  Remember, they are there to serve you.

QUESTION: The New Year is here and I want to stay committed to my fitness and exercise goals.  But before March I’m back to my old habit, sitting on the couch.   How can I stay motivated? – Linda K. 28, NJ

Dear Linda,
Starting is easy, but staying on course is challenging but possible.  Start by having small clear goals regarding your workout and eating plans.  “I will go to the gym every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 6:00-6:45 pm and workout for 45 minutes.”  It’s a clear goal that has a date, time, and duration.  You can also start a story-board with photos of yourself on vacation in a sexy bikini.  Keep a journal of your progress, and ask your family and friends to support your efforts.  When Spring rolls around you’ll be right on target.  Looking and feeling, GREAT!



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About the author

Crystal Gaynor

Crystal Gaynor

Exercise and good nutrition were always a major part of my life growing up. My mother and my grandmother were both avid gardeners and grew everything from apples to zucchini. It was not usual to ask for a snack and receive a plate of collard greens. But that is where my love for all foods green and healthy began.

I studied dance as a child and majored in Dance at Eastern Michigan University. Being in shape has always been a natural state of being for me, so deciding to become a fitness professional was an easy one.

I received the following certifications from The American Council on Exercise:

Group Fitness (2004)
Personal Trainer (2009).

I also hold these certifications and licenses:

Weight Training

In addition, I am a certified Jillian Michael “Body Shred” trainer.

I have trained hundreds of people in the New Jersey area. My client list includes celebrities, professional athletes, and men, women and children from all ages and walks of life. Practicing what I preach, you can find me working out at a neighborhood gym or walking in my local park.

I have been a contributing writer at Identity Magazine since 2010.
I was a featured model in Bobbi Brown Cosmetics’ “Pretty Powerful” beauty campaign.

My goal is to help you achieve a Crystal Clear Life, through the use of exercise, nutrition and a positive attitude. Remember to keep life simple and Crystal Clear.

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