​Exercise is Medicine - Doctor Q&A

"Exercise is medicine", we've all heard this phrase before. But how true is it? Does it have any impact for people who already have a chronic illness? Also, is it safe for people with chronic illnesses to exercise, and how can one do it effectively?

For people without a chronic illness and wanting to improve their overall health, what are the steps they should take to exercise safely? 

Dr Fadzil Hamzah, Senior Staff Registrar from the Singapore Sport and Exercise Medicine Centre (SSMC @ CGH) at Changi General Hospital (CGH), a member of the SingHealth group, answers your questions about the effectiveness of exercise and how to do it safely.

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About Dr Fadzil Hamzah

In 2018, SingHealth established the SingHealth Duke-NUS Sport & Exercise Medicine Centre (SDSC) and Dr Fadzil was appointed as the Community Director for the SDSC.

Dr Fadzil is also a member of the Exercise is Medicine Singapore (EIMS) Management Committee since its set up in 2012. EIMS is the Singapore chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine's (ACSM) global Exercise is Medicine (EIM) initiative, which aims to promote physical activity and exercise in the primary and secondary prevention as well as management of chronic medical conditions. EIMS now serves as the regional centre for EIM Asia and EIM Southeast Asia.

Currently Dr Fadzil is the EIMS Community Programmes Director and an active member of the Sport and Exercise Medicine teaching faculty for EIMS.

Besides clinical work, Dr Fadzil is involved in clinical research as well as retrospective studies and audits on the weight management programme and Extra Corporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) procedures offered at Changi Sports Medicine Centre (CSMC).

Dr Fadzil has provided medical coverage in numerous sports events like mixed martial arts, duathlons, triathlons, Singapore Formula One Grand Prix and the 2010 Youth Olympic Games. Most recently, he was the Chief Medical Officer for Team Singapore in the Summer Youth Olympic Games 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Dr Fadzil is actively involved in many community programmes and health coaching. He works closely with SportSG’s ActiveSG team in the Active Health initiative by providing medical and exercise prescription expertise. Since the Ministry of Health declared ‘War on Diabetes’, he has worked closely with SingHealth, Health Promotion Board, People’s Association and Southeast Community Development Council to co-develop and conduct training for volunteers and students who support residents in diabetes prevention and management.

Ref: M19