Fitness fad or fitness drag?

MCCC student Natalie Osment sporting her waist trainer.

Are we “waisting” our time with the newest fitness trend of waist trainers? Waist trainers have been around for years, but claim their fame from the use of the Kardashians. Many girls followed and declared the trainers do work.

The purpose of a waist trainer is to strengthen your core, straighten your posture, reduce food volume intake so the wearer consumes smaller meals, and to allow the body to rid itself of impurities through perspiration.

Some MCCC students swear by them and think that the waist trainers do wonders, as long as you use them correctly. Alisha Gambrell is one of these students.

Walking around the house and at work it helps my back,” she said.

“It kind of feels like it pushes on it (your back) and it feels good when you are sore but if you make it too tight it is hard to breathe.”

Hailie Casper, a waitress and bartender in Royal Oak wears hers while she works and says it helps her back pain.

“I wear it to work when I waitress or bartend because it helps my posture and reduces my back pain. I also wear it when I do cardio just to try and help target my midsection by creating more heat. I only find it uncomfortable when I sit down because mine bunches up.” she said.

MCCC student Natalie Osment tried one for about a week and did not enjoy her experience.

“I didn't notice any difference. It was just very uncomfortable and sweaty,” she said.
“I stopped wearing it because it pushed all the fat up to my upper back.”

There are some worries about potential organ damage caused by the trainers. Dr. Apovian on health.com describes other dangers.

“Your stomach might get pushed up beyond the diaphragm, which could cause reflux,” says Dr. Apovian. “If you’re wearing one and you experience those symptoms, that’s a definite sign that you need to loosen it or take it off.”

Most of those who use the trainers don’t think that this is an issue because they don’t wear them for long periods of time.

I have heard about the organ thing but I haven't really researched it. I don't think I wear mine frequently enough for it to affect me,” Hailie Casper said.

Alisha Gambrell further explains that only if you use the product improperly should anything be an issue.

“I think if you use them improperly, like too tight or too long, it could hurt your insides. You should put limits on it and don't push it, health risks should always be taken seriously. If it is hurting people maybe they should get a bigger size or one that they can loosen,” she said.

Students who do not wear them are unsure of the reliability of the product. Samantha Bartley thinks it is another one of those cheap television products.

“It looks like an as seen on tv thing. Something people would spend money on and then it doesn’t really work. It looks unhealthy. That sort of thing doesn’t look good for you. People who abuse it or overuse it could probably get hurt,” she said.

MCCC student Bristyn Nadeau doesn’t think this is just a fitness fad.

I could see them being used for a long time,” she said.