Bruni, fitness regime blamed for Sarkozy fall

French president leaves hospital

The 54-year-old fitness-fanatic French president, who was hospitalised on Sunday after he was taken ill during an exercise routine at Versailles Palace in the west of Paris, was discharged from the Val-de-Grace Military Hospital in the capital following a series of cardiovascular teFrench President Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni leave the Val-de-Grace military hospital in Paris on Monday. APsts.

Since marrying the 41-year-old Bruni last year, Sarkozy has been desperately trying to appear as youthful and trendy as the former Italian supermodel-turned-pop star.

Friends suggested that Sarkozy trying to keep up with his glamorous wife has been a disaster waiting to happen, a report in the Daily Mail online said. Sarkozy, who has built much of his media image as the energetic “super-Sarko” around pictures of him on morning runs, recently started regularly running routines with his wife, and additional workouts with her personal trainer.

Patrick Balkany, a close friend and MP who has spoken to the President in the hospital, said Sarkozy was continually on a diet. “Recently the president has looked very honed. He looks more like a Tour de France rider than a president,” Balkany was quoted as saying by the online report.

“The president is going to have to take more care, work a little less hard and eat a little bit more,” he underlined.

Julie Imperiali, a 26-year-old fitness instructor who specialises in strengthening the pelvic floor and controlling eating, had been introduced to Sarkozy by his wife.

According to the report, Imperiali told Sarkozy to lose 9lb and two trouser sizes — a radical change which many would consider unhealthy for such a small man.

Energy sapping activities

Meanwhile, the President was forced to introduce more energy sapping activities such as accompanying his wife to the theatre and to concerts — events he seldom attended in the past.

The Elysee Palace has played down the President’s collapse, blaming it on a “vasovagal episode” caused by the dilation of the body’s blood vessels in response to stimulous from the vagal nerve - something which often happens during exercise.

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