Waist training is a fairly new training phenomenon fueled by some celebrities as the panacea for a narrow hour-glass waistline. Most waist-training devices are corset-like pieces of clothing that compress around the waist and lower part of the rib cage in an effort to make the waist look small. But do they work?

In the short-term, yes. If worn for an evening out, they can have a slimming effect giving one’s waistline that desired effect. And in some cases, they can be the incentive some women need to build their self-confidence and encourage them to eat healthy and exercise regularly, thereby striving to get that hour-glass effect naturally. Some people have even reported wearing a waist trainer help correct their posture problem as it trained them to sit and walk straight. So they can be beneficial in a few different ways.

Health consequences:
But are there any health issues associated with wearing one long-term? There can be. According to experts, due to the fact that it pushes up the stomach into the diaphragm, some people experience heartburn when wearing one. Others report wearing one makes it harder for them to breathe. Long term wear can actually compress the lower ribs, which can lead to internal organ issues because they now do not have as much room to function.

Don’t wear one while exercising:
Because wearing a waist-training device does compress your waist, it restricts movement and interferes with deep breathing – both required when exercising. Plus, most waist training devices are not made from breathable materials (because they are not meant to be worn while exercising) which means sweat can get trapped underneath leading to acne or other skin problems.

For those that like the way their waist looks when wearing one, a better plan is to focus on abdominal core exercises that would naturally decrease waist size along with firming it up. Planks, push-ups and crunches are all good exercises to tighten and tone the waist.

Couple exercising with a healthy eating plan that focuses on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and whole grain, and you have a recipe for success that can give you permanent results instead of temporary as is the case with most waist trainers.

There isn’t an article of clothing that can instantly (and permanently) melt away inches around your waistline. It takes eating a healthy diet and exercise to achieve permanent, positive and safe results.