Are waist trainers safe?

Waist trainers have gained quite a reputation over the past few years mainly because of the hype created by celebrities like Jessica Alba and Kim Kardashian. Jessica Alba, having used it after giving birth to her daughters, claims for it to have helped regain her pre-pregnancy body back. If you have not come across the word waist trainer before, you should know that it is a garment worn tightly around the waist to achieve an hourglass look.

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In contrast to what some might think waist training is not a new practice. It has been around for centuries, as a means for women to enhance their waist line and achieve an hourglass look. However, the publicity it has gained in recent years has never been as pronounced before. We don’t just have the celebrities to thank for this, but the advancement in waist training technology which has made it a more convenient, safer and affordable option for everybody and not just the elite and the highly fashionable like in the old eras. It’s a hard fact that something that gets so much popularity is bound to face some criticism as well. Medical experts are not at all happy with this publicity the waist training business is gaining.

It is true that the concerns of the medical world are not baseless. Waist training, if taken to the extreme, can be dangerous to the health. But then, any healthy practice if followed unwisely will have adverse effects. Take dieting for example. Some people resort to an acute diet plan or skip meals in hopes of losing weight faster. As a result they suffer from headaches, fatigue, insomnia and much more. People who take waist training to extreme levels (tightening it too much or wearing it for too long) hoping to lose their bulging belly overnight will suffer adverse consequences as expected. The key to a successful, healthy lifestyle is MODERATION!

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If you want to look slimmer but are reluctant to try on a waist trainer because of the health risks associated with it, rest assured that IF used correctly, they ARE safe! Let’s take a deeper look into the health risks associated with waist training and attend to them one by one:

Changes your body shape:

It is important to note that if the trainer is fastened too tightly or worn for long periods of time only then may it harm your organs. If practiced moderately, waist training does not harm your organs, it only redistributes them. MRI scans of women, who practice waist training safely, has shown that their organs stay unaffected, only redistributed to fit in the new hourglass shape. Over time, waist trainer will pull the bottom two of your ribs (called the floating ribs) closer to your waist and your organs will shuffle to assemble themselves in the available space. But this type of redistribution is similar to a pregnant woman’s body where the bladder and the liver shuffle to accommodate for the growing fetus. The baby poses no harm to the mother’s body; similar is the case with waist trainers.

Breathing difficulties:

Breathing difficulties are only experienced if you have fastened your trainer too tightly or ordered an incorrect size. If you are experiencing shallow breathing while waist training, don’t ignore it! It does not mean waist trainers are supposed to make you feel that way and you have to get used to it. It only means that you are not going about the correct approach to follow this regime. Address this problem immediately by ordering a correct size or loosening the trainer. You just have to ensure that when you put on a waist trainer it should be a comfortable, tight fit. Anything more than that is your own fault, waist trainers should not be blamed for it!

Also note that they should not be worn during sleep. As for work out, special waist trainers are available to be worn during it. Not all waist trainers are designed to be worn during exercise. If you are wearing a trainer while exercising which is not designed for this purpose, you might experience breathing issues, which is again your fault and not the trainer’s!

Weakening of core strength:

Medical experts say that waist training weakens your overall core strength. This again is associated with extreme waist training. Wearing it day and night every single day will no doubt weaken your abdominal muscles. Extreme use will enable you to start depending on the waist trainer for the necessary support and balance of your torso rather than your own muscles. Sensible waist training where you wear it only for a couple of hours every day will keep your abdominal muscles in action and thus free of any harm.

To conclude, I would repeat that just about any practice taken to the extreme will be harmful. Moderation is the key to a successful waist training experience. Do extensive research before starting your regime to understand the proper way to go about it, buy a good quality, correctly sized waist trainer and you have nothing to worry about!