Since I put on my first pair of tight jeans back when I was in medical school, I have noticed that trends in fashion are gradually leading us away from waist belts. Because the jeans are so tight, no belts are needed to keep them on our body. It seems an evolution in fashion to get rid of the belt, however, a real health issue is emerging—more people are beginning to experience lower back pain and, even worse, lumbar disc herniation.
Have you ever wondered why Kung Fu masters are always wearing a belt? To me, the colors of the belt indicate how devoted and talented you are in martial arts. But it's not just to show ranking. Actually, the belt itself serves as a support for and protects our lower back, regardless of its colors. Life is full of duties that require a strong back: pick and buckle up your kids to the car seats; lift a case of bottled water; or simply sit in front of a computer for hours at work.
In my opinion, a belt adds to our core muscle strength to support our back. Of course, stronger abs are even better. Unfortunately most people don't have strong abs, that's why we need to use our belt even if we are not lifting objects all the time. For a professional opinion from a fitness expert, please read this article.
Belt or abs? I prefer both! Workout? Stomach hurts. No workout? Back hurts!