Waist trainers need to be worn 8-10 hours a day for weeks to months to produce results, and usually require diet and exercise to shape the body. Many celebrities have endorsed using waist trainers to achieve an hourglass shape, leading some people to believe that waist training can help them get desired curves in a relatively short amount of time.
However, there is no scientific proof that supports the claim that waist trainers can help reduce abdominal fat, and wearing one for long periods of time can often do much more harm than good.
What is waist training?
Waist training dates back several centuries. Initially, corsets were not used to reduce waist size but to make the body look more cylindrical and flatten the bust line. However, it was believed that wearing a corset led to a smaller waist. During the Elizabethan era, corsets became more popular and were seen as a status symbol, and several modifications were made such as boned tabs to support the back of the wearer.
Today, different varieties of waist trainers are available in the market, and some can be used during exercise. They may be made of several blends of fabrics, bonings (plastic or steel), and closures. Steel-boned waist trainers tend to be recommended because they are more durable and tougher than plastic-boned waist trainers.
6 health risks of wearing a waist trainer
- Dehydration: Waist trainers increase internal body temperature and cause excessive sweating that may go unnoticed and lead to dehydration.
- Back pain: Prolonged use of waist trainers reduces the movement and activity of both abdominal and back muscles, weakening them. Normally when sitting, your back and abdominal muscles help you maintain posture. But when wearing a corset, your posture is supported by the corset, thereby decreasing the use of muscles. This can eventually cause muscle wastings.
- Organ damage: Waist trainers squeeze the abdomen, causing upper organs to shift upward and lower organs to shift downward. This change in pressure on internal organs can cause you to become less tolerant of some foods, especially fatty ones. According to some people, waist trainers do not allow the stomach to expand, causing acid reflux and disrupting the stomach’s ability to function properly. Increased pressure in the abdomen can also cause constipation. Waist trainers may cause permanent damage to the organs, change the figure abnormally, and may even fracture the ribs.
- Breathing difficulty: Waist trainers can make it difficult to take deep breaths because they compress the abdomen and diaphragm (a muscle that helps in breathing) and limit movements of the rib cage. When the lungs can’t expand fully and breathe in enough oxygen, this can lead to fainting, low energy, discomfort, fluid buildup in the lungs, and inflammation. Wearing waist trainers continuously may also reduce the lymphatic flow that is dependent on deep breathing, which in turn reduces the elimination of waste products and toxins from the body.
- Skin damage: Wearing tightly laced waist trainers and using waist trainers for long periods of time can cause irritation, discomfort, pinching of the skin, and even nerve damage. This limitation and tightness around the waist often causes chafing and negatively affects the overall health of the skin.
- Risk in postpartum women: For new mothers who have just given birth, waist trainers are often seen as a way to reduce weight and slim the stomach. However, the use of waist trainers may cause serious complications such as uterine prolapse (where the uterus moves from its position and goes down into the birth canal or comes out of the vagina) because they increase pressure in the abdomen and increase downward pressure on the pelvic floor.
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4 Reasons to Throw Your Waist Trainer in the Trash: https://www.americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org/popular-posts/4-reasons-throw-waist-trainer-trash/
Does waist training give you a lasting hourglass body? https://www.ucihealth.org/blog/2015/10/waist-training-long-term-harmful-effects