So by now most people have heard of the waist training fad and most know what it is.  If you don’t here is a quick overview.

What is a waist trainer?

A waist trainer is a shaping garment similar to a girdle. The waist trainer pulls a person’s midsection in as tight as possible. The idea behind a waist trainer is that the pulling action gives the person a sleeker, smaller waist.

Waist trainers usually consist of a combination of tough fabric and hard fibers. Hooks, Velcro, lacing, or other strong fasteners hold the trainer tightly in place.

Advocates believe that it is possible to “train” the waist to retain a slimmer shape after frequent wearing of the garment over an extended period. Some people suggest that wearing a waist trainer while working out can aid weight loss.

 

Long term use could have some negative effects on a person’s overall health.  Before deciding to use a waist trainer here are a few things to consider:

Breathing Problems:  using a waist trainer while exercising may cause breathing difficulties. You may experience restrictions in movement that may make certain maneuvers challenging and painful and result in shortness of breath. It may also cause you to not get enough oxygen or become easily winded.

Internal Damage: Squeezing the midsection with constant force will likely cause internal organs, such as the liver and kidneys, to shift into unnatural positions. This shifting of internal organs may affect the blood flow, and it can change how well the organs function. It may even lead to permanent organ damage.

Weakened Core: Waist trainers provide support that would normally come from your core muscles. If you wear a waist trainer but don’t train your core, you could end up with severely weakened abdominal muscles. Your core muscles can atrophy and shrink from lack of use. Decreased core strength due to the prolonged use of waist trainers increases the chances of pelvic floor problems, poor posture, and back problems.

Digestive issues: The shifting of organs due to a waist trainer may also affect the digestive organs, such as the esophagus (food pipe), stomach, and intestines.

As well as interfering with digestion, the constant pressure can force stomach acid back up into the esophagus, causing heartburn. If a person has gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), wearing a waist trainer may exacerbate the symptom.

 

 

On the flip side waist trainers can provide some benefits such as:

Improved posture: Waist trainers help you maintain proper posture while standing and sitting because the metal bones in waist trainers make it impossible for you to slouch. They improve your position by providing the necessary support to your back.

Postpartum support: -Waist trainers may provide support to women whose abdominal muscles have stretched or thinned following pregnancy. The extra support may help reduce pain and discomfort and also support and speed up the healing process. However keep in mind that after giving birth, our pelvic floor muscles and the surrounding organs need time to heal. If you wear a waist trainer while healing, it can make matters worse instead of better as the trainer will put additional pressure on your pelvic floor.While this damage isn’t always visible, it can lead to incontinence or prolapse.

Weight control: If you wear a waist trainer all the time, you will realize that it is challenging to consume large portions of food. However, they only restrict the amount of food you eat, they do not burn any fat in your body.

Waist training is similar to fad diets and many fitness fads. It may provide some temporary waist thinning, but it ultimately does not provide a safe, long-term solution to weight or fat loss. Long-term use of waist trainers can lead to organ damage. It can also lead to digestive issues, such as acid reflux. Waist trainers pose a variety of health risks and as such it is recommended that you opt for safer alternatives to trimming your midsection, like a balanced diet and regular exercise.

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