Waist training is a practice where people wear a corset or other device that compresses the waist, typically to slim down. Most people who try waist training do so because they have problems with their figure—either they have too much fat around their waist or want to fit into smaller clothes easily. As a result, it has become popular among people trying to lose weight or tone their midsection. Unsurprisingly, this includes cigarette smokers.
After all, a study by PLOS Medicine on NCBI determined that smoking is associated with higher central adiposity, or fat accumulation in the abdominal area. Because of this, smokers may find themselves interested in waist training as a way to slim down and achieve a trimmer stomach. But given the demands of waist training and the health conditions of smokers, can those who smoke waist train? And if so, how can they start safely?
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How smoking and waist trainers affect respiratory health
Smoking and waist trainers both have a significant impact on your respiratory health. Tobacco use is notorious for causing respiratory problems in otherwise healthy adults. A prolonged cigarette habit can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, an umbrella term for several lung diseases, such as bronchitis and emphysema, that make breathing difficult.
Waist trainers, on the other hand, are designed to positively impact health by assisting in weight loss and figure-shaping. However, because of its constrictive design on the midsection, it can cause shortness of breath among its users. A report by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery found that waist trainers can reduce lung capacity by up to 60%. When used during exercise, it can cause shortness of breath and discomfort as your body adjusts to the device.
How can smokers start waist training safely?
While waist training can benefit smokers by helping them reduce abdominal fat, starting safely is vital to reduce the risk of injuries. Here are a few tips for doing so:
1. Get guidance from a doctor
It’s important to note that waist training is not for everyone. If you’re a smoker, it’s best not to waist train until you get the green light from your doctor. Your doctor can guide you on what exercises are best for your body type and lung capacity and whether waist training will be safe for you. Since they’ll also be able to gauge your overall wellness, they can help you anticipate and manage possible health effects. On top of this, they’ll also be able to recommend and vet specific brands of waist trainers that are known for being safe.
2. Cut back on smoking
The most crucial step in starting waist training is cutting back on smoking. Smoking harms your health and will interfere with your waist training results. To this end, nicotine replacement products like pouches and patches can help. To illustrate, a blog post by Prilla explains that nicotine pouches differ from traditional smoking products because they are smoke- and tobacco-free alternatives. This means that they still provide the same amount of nicotine, but they don’t affect the lungs in the same capacity. As a result, they can prevent withdrawal symptoms that might affect waist training while also helping one wean off cigarettes. In time, lessened cigarette smoking can improve lung conditions so that it’s more conducive for waist training.
3. Start with waist training exercises
Lastly, before actually using waist trainers, it’s important to start with waist training exercises. Because smoking can cause both short and long-term damage to the lungs, your body might struggle to adjust to waist training devices without preparation. Our post “Waist Training Exercises” lists some waist-cinching exercises, such as crunches, Russian twists, and obliques. These can help you break into your waist trainer and acclimate to the new sensations it can bring. Once you’ve cut back on smoking and gotten cleared by your doctor, targeted exercises can help prepare your body for the rigorous demands of waist training and prevent the risk of injury.
It is important to remember that waist training is a lifestyle, not a quick fix. It should be used as part of a healthy diet and exercise routine to help keep your body in shape. In fact, for smokers looking to quit their cigarette habit, waist training can be one more step to making lasting changes in your life and transforming your body.