Dizziness and shortness of breath are common in people who have a pre-existing medical condition.
Seek medical attention if you are experiencing dizziness or shortness of breath.

Young And Breathless

Question: I feel out of breath after climbing just a single flight of stairs. I am in my mid-20s and exercise regularly. Why do I feel breathless, and is this a sign of cardiac weakness?

There are several causes of breathlessness. The common causes in a young person are asthma, anaemia, and heart rhythm disorder (e.g., Atrial Fibrillation) or obesity. It is good that you are exercising regularly. It is, however, important that you visit a doctor who will be able to assess your condition and provide a diagnosis because most of the causes are treatable.

Dr Gowri Doraisamy
Family Physician & Senior Consultant
National Healthcare Group Polyclinics

Aim for gradual weight loss by combining healthy eating and physical activity.

Keep On Running

Question: I’m a 40-year-old woman who is 1.53m tall and weighs 70kg. My doctor warned that I was bordering on obesity, so I decided to take up jogging. But after 45 minutes of running round a park, I was very dizzy and vomited my breakfast. I would still like to jog to lose some weight, but what precautions should I take?

Answer: It is encouraging that you are keen to take up jogging in order to lose weight. You should aim for a gradual weight loss of five to 10 per cent over six to 12 months.

Exercise and Weight Loss

Jogging and other exercises will increase energy expenditure and reduce body fat. For a start, you can jog and exercise for 30 minutes per session, aiming to achieve 150 minutes of exercise a week. To ensure significant weight loss, more than 250 minutes of exercise per week is required.

Avoid heavy meals and drinks at least an hour before you start jogging, and ensure that you are adequately hydrated before the exercise. Over time, you can gradually increase your running pace and distance. Proper footwear is also recommended to minimise stress to the joints and ligaments.

Healthy Diet and Weight Loss

Apart from jogging, you should cut down on fat and sugar, which are high in calories and thus cause weight gain. You should follow a healthy balanced diet and eat regular meals to prevent you from overeating at the next meal. To help you monitor your weight, keep a food diary to record your daily food intake. If you find that you are overeating, reduce the amount of food and exercise more.

Dr Darren Seah
Family Physician
Consultant
Director of Family Medicine Development
National Healthcare Group Polyclinics

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