How to Plan for a Long Life
By Tim Pompey
Mohammed Hasan would like to encourage an aging population to get a plan. Not for retirement or financial gain, but to live a healthy, long, and productive life. It’s a subject he believes is often overlooked in the U.S. — how to preserve intelligence and creativity and give the body its best chance to thrive as an older adult.
Most important, he wants people to have the knowledge it takes to make good healthy choices. “People need to understand that there is no magic pill for living long,” Hasan said. “All of these things that we talk about, we have to individually take the responsibility to practice.”
For that reason, Hasan offers a free class that focuses on research and brings together a group of people to discuss how to make those important healthy choices. He calls it his “stress health and longevity” class.
Hasan, who owns an engineering consulting firm in Ventura, admits that the idea for the class came almost by accident during a discussion he had with a friend about how to deal with some of their personal and health problems. After the discussion, he wondered if there might be more than one person interested in this subject. “At that time, I thought, ‘If I’m going to instruct one person, why not more than one?’ ”
Hasan believes that most people struggle to find good information on basic health and longevity issues. The information is there, but only in bits and pieces. Hasan tries to pull these pieces together into something that is coherent and understandable. “We kind of bring it all together to reach our goal of living a long life, but with good health,” he said.
Hasan is not a doctor or a medical specialist. He emphasizes good research and his goal is to encourage the group to ask questions that are important to them. The class then works together to find answers to those questions and to support and encourage class members to make important lifestyle choices.
Typical subjects in the class include information on good nutrition, proper exercise, and available foods in local farmers’ markets. He sometimes provides a cooking class, invites someone over 100 to come talk to the class, shows videos on how the brain works, or invites the class to relax together. And always, time is provided to answer questions.
On occasion, Hasan also brings guavas from his own yard to share with class members. “We have a standard size yard,” he said, “but my wife JoAnn always has a few fruits ripening year round.”
His goal is to improve longevity and to find specific ways to make that longevity meaningful. As he noted, “In the class we make a plan to live to at least 110.”
But beyond gathering information, he also wants to encourage class members to make healthy choices. “It’s not what we don’t know,” he said. “It’s more about what we know but do not practice that’s causing our problems with longevity.”
Why does Hasan take the time to host a free class? For him, it’s all about helping people to educate themselves. “I do this because I feel so much knowledge is available all around us and we find it difficult to sort things out for ourselves so that we can practice them together,” he said.
Hasan’s health and longevity class meets one hour a week in the downstairs conference room at 702 County Square Drive in Ventura. For more information, contact him at (805) 652-2828 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.