Keeping your heart healthy and strong is key to vibrant, healthy living. That means you want to keep your blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in the healthy range, and ensure your arteries are clear for optimal blood flow. In honor of American Heart Month, here are 3 easy ways you can help boost your heart health.
- Engage in Regular, Moderate Exercise. Exercising regularly is one of the best things you can do to keep your heart pumping strong. A meta-analysis of exercise training trials that included over 4,700 subjects found that regular physical activity had a positive impact on cholesterol and triglyceride levels. In addition, over 40 randomized controlled trials involving nearly 2,700 participants have demonstrated the positive effect exercise training has on resting blood pressure. 
How much exercise do you need to enjoy its heart health benefits? According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults should aim for at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, along with 2 or more days of weight training and muscle-strengthening activities.
It’s important to note that the 150 minutes of aerobic exercises does not have to be in chunks of time. You can reap the benefits of exercise by breaking that down into smaller increments, like 15-20 minutes walks at a moderate pace.
- Make Heart Smart Substitutions in Your Diet. Making a few healthy swaps in your diet can go a long way to boosting your heart health. Here are 3 substitutions that can put you on the path to better heart health…
- Switch from White Wine to Red. Red wine is brimming with the antioxidant resveratrol. Research shows that resveratrol promotes heart health by supporting healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It’s also been shown to improve blood flow, support brain and endothelial health, and promote a normal inflammatory response., 
- Go Darker with Chocolate. Dark chocolate, but not milk chocolate, is rich in phenols and flavonoids, which help maintain normal blood pressure levels, keep your arteries healthy, and support healthy cholesterol levels. Chocolate is high in calories, so experts recommend limiting your consumption to 0.5-1 ounce daily. Look for a variety with a high cacao content—at least 70%—because it contains a higher percentage of antioxidants per serving.
- Ditch the Chips for Nuts. Chips are not only high in fat and calories, they’re also loaded with sodium which can have a negative impact on your blood pressure. Nuts contain heart-healthy nutrients like omega-3s, vitamin E, magnesium, fiber, and phytosterols. In addition, nuts are low in saturated fat and contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Aim for a small handful of nuts daily to boost your heart health.
- Take a Multivitamin Daily. Several studies have found that adults who take multivitamins regularly are at less risk for developing heart concerns. One study found that women who regularly took a multivitamin for more than 3 years had better heart health. Another long-term study found that multivitamin use for more than 20 years was associated with a lower risk of heart concerns in healthy men. Look for formulas that include a wide spectrum of heart-supporting nutrients like a comprehensive B-vitamin complex, folic acid (folate), vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, calcium, and magnesium. Rainbow Light’s Women’s One, Men’s One, and Prenatal One multivitamin formulas include each of these heart essential nutrients, plus other targeted vitamins and minerals to support your overall health and well-being.
 Leon, A and Sanchez, O. Response of blood lipids to exercise training alone or combined with dietary intervention. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001 Jun;33(6 Suppl):S502-15; discussion S528-9.
 Fagard, R. Exercise characteristics and the blood pressure response to dynamic physical training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001 Jun;33(6 Suppl):S484-92; discussion S493-4.
 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Summary. https://health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/summary.aspx.
 Tomé-Carneiro, J, et al. Consumption of a grape extract supplement containing resveratrol decreases oxidized LDL and ApoB in patients undergoing primary prevention of cardiovascular disease: a triple-blind, 6-month follow-up, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2012 May;56(5):810-21.
 Wong, R, et al. Acute resveratrol supplementation improves flow-mediated dilatation in overweight/obese individuals with mildly elevated blood pressure. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011 Nov;21(11):851-6.
 Taubert, D, et al. Effects of low habitual cocoa intake on blood pressure and bioactive nitric oxide: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2007 Jul 4;298(1):49-60.
 Bailey, R, et al. Multivitamin-mineral use is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease mortality among women in the United States. J Nutr. 2015 Mar;145(3):572-8.
 Rautiainen, S, et al. Multivitamin Use and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Men. J Nutr. 2016 Jun;146(6):1235-40.