PARIS - French President Nicolas Sarkozy will reduce his workload for a few days after suffering a dizzy spell brought on by jogging in hot weather and a heavy schedule, his office said on Monday.
The leader of nuclear-armed France spent the night in hospital after falling ill while running, due to a combination of physical effort and tiredness, but not any cardiac problems, Sarkozy's office said.
The diagnosis is a faintness from a sustained physical effort in great heat without a loss of consciousness, in a context of fatigue stemming from a heavy workload, his office said in a statement.
Known as the hyperactive president because of his frantic diplomatic, political and sporting schedule, the 54-year-old suffered a dizzy spell while running in the park of the Chateau of Versailles on Sunday.
He had to lie down before being flown by helicopter to the Val-de-Grace military hospital in Paris. On Monday, he walked out of hospital, accompanied by medics and his wife.
The presidential office said he underwent cardiological and other tests, and that no medical treatment was prescribed though a few days of relative rest were recommended.
Sarkozy has canceled his appointments for Monday and Tuesday but will chair a cabinet meeting on Wednesday before heading off for a three-week summer holiday, as planned.
French media pounced on the opportunity to dissect Sarkozy's hectic life, while friends urged him to eat more and lighten his punishing schedule.
However, analysts said it would be difficult for him to give up his trademark hands-on style.
The 'omni' or 'hyper' president ... had built his image and exercise of power on an unbridled activism, wrote newspaper Le Monde, saying he was overworked, unwilling to delegate and incapable of giving up jogging.
WORK LESS, EAT MORE?
Despite pressure from members of his own UMP party to change his ways and slow down a little, political analyst Stephane Rozes said Sarkozy would probably continue as before.
As this event was harmless for Nicolas Sarkozy's health, he won't spontaneously think of changing his lifestyle, be it political or sporting, Rozes told Reuters.
Nonetheless this incident has revealed the fact that this president always tries to push back the boundaries. This hyperactivity is perceived by the French very ambivalently.
An environmental magazine calculated earlier this year that Sarkozy flew almost as many miles as Britain's Gordon Brown and Germany's Angela Merkel put together in 2008.
Apart from whizzing around France and the world to meet protesters, give speeches and hammer out solutions to the global economic crisis, Sarkozy is also known for his obsession with keeping in shape.
He is often photographed running or cycling, and one close friend said he was also dieting.
Sometimes he needs to try a bit less hard and eat a little bit more. He's on a diet because he's always a little bit too heavy...let's say he doesn't want to be overweight, Patrick Balkany said on RTL radio.
French presidential health problems have traditionally been kept almost secret from the public -- President Francois Mitterrand was diagnosed with cancer not long after being elected in 1981, but only revealed the information in 1992.
Sarkozy promised to provide regular health updates when he took office, but did not publish any such statements in 2008.
A throat operation in October 2007, months after he was elected, was kept secret until January 2008, when it was revealed by journalists in a book and officially confirmed. Results of a blood and cardiovascular health check published on July 3 were normal.