The latest anti-aging health news comes from researchers from the University of North Carolina who, in their findings, believe that high blood pressure or hypertension,  is increasingly growing and more so in younger adults. In the past, it was as though this condition was reserved for the more mature, but a lot has changed.

Obviously, everything has to do with the lifestyle that we lead which includes a poor diet and lack of physical fitness.  While high blood pressure may not worry some individuals, the fact is that it is a dangerous condition that leads to other medical health problems.

What did the research indicate?

Well, they tested over 14,000 subjects, aged between 24 and 32. Unfortunately, ONE FIFTH of the subjects had high blood pressure! That is a clear pictures that shows how this condition has increased since a previous study — 5 times more.

What are the complications of high blood pressure?

There are different complications that could arise due to hypertension which include heart disease and strokes. Among the American population, these conditions are responsible for the first and third rankings leading to death.  According to Kathleen Mullan Harris who is the co-author of the report states that the findings are alarming and that they are evident of a sleeping epidemic, as over 50% of the subjects were unaware that they even had hypertension.

The evidence is a continuation of a study on the same individuals which dates back to the year 1995. The subjects were then aged 12 through 19 and already at that age, 11% of them were obese. After a period of 5 years, that number doubled to 22%!  In 2008, the obesity numbers jumped to 37%, while another 60% of them were overweight.

What can you do to avoid high blood pressure or hypertension?

Eat sensibly and exercise. That means eating foods from all four food groups and looking at food in general, as a means to live. Don’t live to eat, EAT TO LIVE. Sure, you can treat yourself to something special once in a while, just don’t do it all the time.

Limit prepared or packaged foods and start cooking again. These foods are often high in saturated fats, sodium, sugar, trans fats, and preservatives that are harmful to our health. Also, eat foods that are raw or as close to raw as possible, like nuts, vegetables and fruits and cut down on sweets, sugars and salt. Cook quick meals in a pan which include all the necessary vitamins and eat red meat at most once a week.  Leave the table still hungry and forget about sodas. Instead, drink lots of water and freshly squeezed juices. Instead of apple pie, slice up an apple and sprinkle it with cinnamon. If sugar must be used, choose honey instead. These are all great ideas to better living and better health.

As for exercise, it doesn’t mean having to go to the gym. It means moving about instead of lying around and driving everywhere. Use your legs by walking, running or cycling. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, and so on. Ride your bike to the store instead of driving there.

As you can see, these are small lifestyle changes that require only a bit of willpower, but will repay you with a longer and healthier life.