Melissa TuckerPurica Ambassador Melissa Tucker, a training coach and one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors, is a member of our team of Purica Ambassadors committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips. As part of our recognition of Heart Month in February, Melissa addresses some common misconceptions about heart health: 1. During a heart attack, your heart stops beating. True or False? Answer: When your heart suddenly stops functioning, it’s called “cardiac arrest”. During a heart attack, the heart is still beating but blood supply to the heart tissue is blocked, leading to tissue death. 2. Heart Disease kills more men than women. True or False? Answer: To be precise, it’s actually false. Stats from 2011 show that the number is almost equal, with women dying from heart disease at 29.7% and men at 28%. 3. Heart disease is the No.2 killer in North America, second only to breast cancer. True or False? Answer: That’s false. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in North America, killing more women than all forms of cancer combined. One in four women die of heart disease, while one in 30 die of breast cancer. It’s also the leading killer of men. 4. Which of the following could be a sign of heart attack? a) Neck Pain, b) Back Pain c) Chest Pain d) All of the above Answer: (d) Although the most common sign of a heart attack is chest pain or discomfort, it’s not always one of the symptoms. Other symptoms might include shortness of breath, nausea, sweating, feeling lightheaded, and/or pain or discomfort in other parts of the upper body, such as the back, stomach, neck, or jaw. 5. “Broken heat syndrome” is a real medical condition and its symptoms are similar to those of a heart attack. True or False? Answer: “Broken heart syndrome” can be brought on by grief or emotional stress. Traumatic events can trigger the “fight or flight” feeling produced by the sympathetic nervous system releasing a sudden flood of chemicals, including adrenaline which can stun the heart muscle, leaving it temporarily unable to pump properly. Although symptoms may be similar, it is not the same as a heart attack. 6. The most common trigger risk for heart disease is: a) Inactivity b) Obesity c) Smoking d) High Blood Pressure Answer: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, 39.5% of Americans are at risk for heart disease because of inactivity. The percentages of U.S. adults carrying other key risk factors are: obesity, 33.9%; high blood pressure, 30.5%; cigarette smoking, 20.8%; high cholesterol, 15.6%; and diabetes, 10.1%. Bottom line, you must take care of your heart so it can take care of you. Unleash your athlete within by adding physical activity to your day and be sure to eat heart healthy whole foods and get adequate sleep to refuel the most important muscle pump you’ve got. #IHeartMyHeart For more information, check out www.melissatucker.com or email Purica Ambassador Melissa Tucker at firstname.lastname@example.org.. And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness.