Making Fitness Crystal Clear-Fitness Q&A (March. 2013)

Fitness Expert, Crystal Gaynor
Avatar photo
Written by Crystal Gaynor

Dear Crystal, How do you get out of a fitness funk? What are some easy steps to get back into exercising? – Skylar M. 27/Summit, NJ

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 walking 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 ExpertDear Crystal,
I just found out I’m pregnant.   Is it safe to start exercising after not having worked out in awhile? – Cathy W. 28/Long Island, NY.

Dear Cathy:   The safest way to start is by consulting with your health care provider.   Once you’re cleared to exercise, start slowly and safely.     The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends light to moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day, along with low-impact aerobics and swimming. The elliptical machine and in-door stationary bike are also great choices, but use light resistance and pay close attention to how you feel.   Light weight-training can be incorporated into your program, but consider hiring a Personal Trainer that specializes in Pre & Postnatal Fitness.   If any unusual spotting, bleeding, or dizziness occurs, consult your physician immediately.

Dear Crystal,
How do you get out of a fitness funk? What are some easy steps to get back into exercising? – Skylar M. 27/Summit, NJ

Dear Skylar:   Everyone gets into a fitness funk from time to time, and something as simple as changing your spot on the floor can change your workout perspective.   If you always stand in the back, try standing in the front.   If you normally take Spin classes, try a Boot Camp class. Or if you only do Pilates, check out a Zumba class. Try working out with a friend whose workout is entirely different from your norm.   Remember fitness should be fun and a small change can make a big difference.   So mix it up and keep it moving!

Dear Crystal,
Which is better, Yoga or Pilates? – Tiffany K. 34/New York, NY

Dear Tiffany:   As a certified Pilates instructor, I get asked this question all the time.   Yoga and Pilates are both mind-body and total body disciplines.   They both incorporate elements of flexibility, body strength, core strength, and flow of moment.   The primary difference is that Yoga is a spiritually based practice that uses exercise for a deeper spiritual connection.   Pilates is only 100 years old and focuses on the awareness of the breath, and alignment of the spine, while strengthening the core (or abdominal muscles) of the body.   Both Yoga and Pilates are beneficial and make a great addition to any fitness program.

Dear Crystal,
Why does my lower back hurt when I do planks? – Adrianna T. 47/Hartford, CT

Dear Adrianna:   Planks are a stabilization exercise and are a great way to strengthen your core and torso stability. When performed incorrectly, however, may experience some back pain.   Follow these instructions for the perfect plank.

First, kneel down on your forearms and knees.

Secondly, while keeping the torso completely straight, extend the right leg back to the ball of the foot, then the left leg out to the ball of the foot.   Now your body is in a full-planked position.

Pay close attention to your lower back. Make sure that it does not slump or dip and make sure your butt is not in the air.   Aim for a straight line from the ear to the ankle. Your line of vision should be aimed at the floor.

Finally, hold this position for 10 seconds and work up to 60 seconds.   Breathe normally and while exhaling, pull the navel into the spine.   Finally, you’ll achieve pain-free planks!


Please feel free to email Crystal with your question. It will be answered in the order it’s received. Please continue to check back for your question to be answered. Note: we do not use last names

About the author

Avatar photo

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.

Leave a Comment