Lately, waist training is all the rage—celebrities like the Kardashians, Jessica Alba, Kim Zolciak and Amber Rose all tout its ability to help achieve their hourglass shapes. The thing is, these contortionist devices are nothing new. Do we not remember that old school contraption called the “corset” that’s been around for more than 500 years? The first time I saw it was in a little classic called “Gone With the Wind.” You know the scene—Mammy was lacing Scarlett’s whalebone-girdled into a 17-inch circumference. The scene is unforgettable—and used to make women happy they didn’t live in that era.
Wow, have times changed. Waist trainers seem to be ubiquitous at the moment—but there’s a reason they were abandoned in centuries past. Perhaps it was the many health dangers associated to this somewhat primitive practice, now a fast-growing trend. Below are just five of the risks you run by rocking that tight corset.
1. Squishing your lungs. Waist trainers compress your lungs—and even the garments that don’t reach your lungs will squish your diaphragm, making it harder for oxygen to reach your lungs. Wearing one makes it harder to breathe, forcing users to take short, shallow breaths. This can lead to a buildup of fluid in the lungs, which puts you at risk for pneumonia or pulmonary edema.
2. Dizziness. When your brain doesn’t get enough air from those shallow breaths, you get dizzy and lightheaded and may possibly faint.
3. Acid reflux. Waist-cinching devices may also squeeze and push up your stomach, causing heartburn and acid reflux.
4. Bruised ribs. Many users suffer from bruised ribs from wearing these babies for too long.
5. Decreased blood flow. Wearing waist trainers causes a reduction in blood flow to your veins, which can lead to blood clots and added pressure on your cardiovascular system.
The worst part about taking these risks is that the payoff is not guaranteed—in fact, most experts claim that you won’t lose ANY fat around your waist from wearing these uncomfortable contraptions. The bottom line—there is no easy fix with lasting results. We all want that curvy but sculpted silhouette, but it’s going to take a healthy diet and time clocked at the gym. We’ll give you the health and fitness hacks to help you get there faster, but you’ve got to do the work!