When Kim Kardashian was seen wearing a corset showing off her tiny waist on Instagram, it duly became a “fitness” craze that many people were talking about. Waist-shaping corsets aren’t new – in fact, tightlacing (also known as corset training) was quite common in the late Victorian era and came into existence in around 16th century.
Waist trainers have gained some traction lately as a (seemingly) amazing new way to shape your midsection and look amazing.
What is a waist trainer? You’ve heard of a corset right? You know those tight uncomfortable pieces of clothing women wore back in the 1500-1800s to fit into their tiny dresses. Well, a waist trainer is basically a glorified modern corset.
It’s recommended you wear the trainer every day for at least 8 hours for up to six weeks and after doing so you’ll achieve that perfect (but temporary) hourglass shape. Is there any scientific proof for waist trainers? Besides that women have been using corsets to shape and slim their waistlines for hundreds of years? Well, none. Putting on a corset isn’t going to make you lose fat in your waist just as putting on super tight pants isn’t going to make you lose fat in your behind. Yes, you might lose some weight but the reasons aren’t anything magical:
- The waist trainer might cause you to sweat more, meaning you’d lose water weight.
- The waist trainer may make you feel less inclined to eat because it is so tight. So you might lose some pounds from eating less.
- They may help improve your posture which can help you look thinner.
You can achieve these three benefits from much safer and cheaper methods, but if you think a corset is worth a few kilos and possible damage to your body, go for it.
Here are the Four Ugly Truths about Waist Trainers: Not surprisingly, there are many cons when it comes to waist training. Turns out waist training can actually do some serious damage to your body.
1. Waist trainers can harm your organs: Studies going back to 20th century found that wearing corsets long term actually misplaced your organs and could cause permanent damage. Fast forward a century and doctors are still warning about wearing waist trainers, warning that they are not the best idea. They can put added and unwanted pressure on the midsection, limiting blood and oxygen flow to vital organs which can be dangerous. The added pressure and tightness makes breathing harder and puts you at risk for passing out. Exercising with a waist trainer? Probably not a great idea.
2. Waist trainers can cause atrophy of abdominal muscles: The reason the waist training companies stress you workout while you wear the corset is so you actually keep the muscles you have. The problem is waist cinchers make it hard to breathe while doing nothing, let alone working out. What if you wear the waist trainer long term and don’t workout? You’ll probably lose any ab definition you had and come out a soft pudgy mess in the process. Wearing a waist trainer can cause your core muscles to become inactive. When muscles become inactive they atrophy. The saying, “use it or lose it” becomes very true here. You could probably slow this process by working out but who wants to do hundreds of crunches in a corset? The same goes for your postural muscles in your back. Waist trainers claim they improve your posture, but that’s only true while you are wearing it. Once you take it off your now weakened postural muscles are going to have a harder time doing their job.
3. Waist trainers can cause dehydration: Waist trainers heat up the core and can cause excessive sweating. Sure this means you’ll lose water weight, but it also puts you at risk for dehydration. Mild dehydration isn’t serious. But if you wear a waist trainer regularly and don’t hydrate properly, you’ll eventually become more and more dehydrated. Severe dehydration is a serious problem and can cause fatigue, fainting, headaches, and in some cases, seizures.
4. There can be other health issues: “Waist training can have some serious health risks due to compression – such as skin infections, pulmonary problems, kidney issues and lung issues,” says a Medical Expert. “Not to mention the fact that it can be extremely painful. “Even the manufacturers of the corsets advise that people wear them for a short time only, due to the risks involved.”
S, there you go trendy ladies. If you still want to go ahead with wearing a corset…
- Wear them for very short periods of time.
- Avoid exercising wearing a corset as it may interfere with your breathing.
- Don’t over-tighten.
- Don’t wear it at all if your body is still developing.
- Make sure you stay regularly hydrated if you are involved in physical activity that causes you to sweat.
- Don’t use it as a substitute to healthy-eating and exercise.
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