Book Reviews

Midwest Book Review Calls Crack The Code Impressively Informed and Informative 

(Oregon, WI, April 17, 2019) A recently released review of Crack The Code: 10 Proven Secrets That Motivate Healthy Behavior and Inspire Fulfillment in Men Over 50, the Midwest Book Review offered the following critique:  Impressively informed and informative, "Crack The Code" is exceptionally well written, organized and presented for the benefit of non-specialist general readers including men over 50, their wives, partners, children and grandchildren. Additionally "Crack The Code" will be of immense interest and value as an informational resource for health care providers, insurers, policy makers. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community and academic library Contemporary Health & Medicine collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Crack The Code" is also available in a digital book format. 

Amazon Top 500 Reviewer  Doug Erlandson   

(January 31, 2019)

In this book Louis Bezich argues that as a group men over fifty years old here in the United States are an especially high risk for health problems and shortened longevity. Reasons for this include inadequate exercise and under-utililization of the healthcare system (i.e., not seeing a doctor regularly or going for an annual checkup). Much of what Bezich recommends has to do with encouraging middle-aged and older men to become more physically active.

To this end he presents ten suggestions that, if implemented, will improve a person's health. These ten steps are: Assess your current state; create your vision; build your strategy; create your personal lifestyle network; design a sustainability plan; leverage micromotivators; be optimistic; adjust; be a hero. Each of these suggestions, if implemented, will play a part in improving a person's health. In addition to a detailed description on how to implement these suggestions, Bezich presents the result of interviews with some of the thousand or so men who took part in his study and also ends each chapter with a series of questions to consider and answer.

Much of what Bezich says is to the point. When I was nearly 71 I almost died from an aortic dissection, a condition that causes death in the majority of those who are felled by it. Although I had been physically active for my entire adult life I had ignored the advice of my wife and others to see a doctor. Even when I developed high blood pressure I tried (unsuccessfully) to control it through modifications in my diet alone. The result was seven hours of emergency open-heaert surgery, which, thankfully, I survived.

I should have known better. When I was 58 an aneurysm in my iliac artery ruptured and by the time I was on the operating table I had lost half my blood. A few years later I had genetic testing and discovered that I had a gene that increased the chances of suffering from abdominal and aortic aneurysms. Had I paid attention to this as well as to my hypertension, I would have gotten tested yearly (which was what I should have been doing), and in all likelihood would have avoided an aortic dissection.

This brings me to my first recommendation should Bezich decide to expand on this book, and that is that as part of one's health regimen it is important to get genetic testing. Back when I was 58 years old, genetic testing was just beginning to come into existence. But today there's no excuse for not being aware of threatening genetic conditions. So, I would like to see this added to the advice that Bezich gives.

My second suggestion is that Bezich address the problem of overexercise. Although I applaud the effort to motivate mature men to exercise, a caution should be given regarding obsessiveness. I began long-distance running when I was in my mid-twenties and completed several marathons. But I ran too much. The result was that I had double knee replacements in my late fifties. Perhaps this takes second place to getting men to be physically active, but for many who work themselves into shape it becomes a problem and should be addressed. 

-Sal Paolantonio, National Correspondent, ESPN

"Lou Bezich has written a brilliant book that will help men over the age of 50, like me, look at themselves in a whole new light. This book helped me understand what it means to be adaptable in life, be available in a meaningful way to my family and friends, and be alert to my surroundings so that I can sustain excellence in how I work and live. There is so much great guidance, advice, and instruction in this book. I couldn't put it down!"

-Vince Papale, Motivational Speaker, NFL alum, and author

"A call to action...Lou Bezich reminds all of us over 50 what we have to live for and where to find the fulfillment to sustain a healthy lifestyle. Crack The Code is a dynamite combination of research, stories, and practical advice that shows that the inspiration that drives happiness and health is right in front of us. It is a code that my wife, Janet, and I subscribe to, as we believe in tiger synergy of mind, body, and fitness. If you want to feel Invincible this is a book that you'll want to read and share with the most important people in your life."

-Bill Clement, Two-Time Stanley Cup Champion, broadcaster, speaker and author

"Transformational...As a professional athlete, broadcaster, and father, I've experienced the power of motivation from a number of viewpoints.  Crack The Code does a fantastic job of demonstrating the force of social and emotional motivators in creating a healthy lifestyle in men over 50. The stories humanize its strategies and show that positive behavior, and its benefits, is within every man's reach. An incredibly important read for 50+ men and the people that love them."

-Jim Florio, Former Governor of New Jersey

"Crack the Code is an essential read not for just men over 50, but also for people who care for and want to understand men over 50. It is a blend of tactical, strategic, and practical hints and cultural concepts. Reading it is an investment of time that will yield a lifetime of dividends."

Book Review from The Generation Above Me

Louis Bezich combines reading, research, and personal experience to write a book for men 50 plus on how to adopt healthy behaviors. His title reveals his dual content. Crack the Code: 10 Proven Secrets that Motivate Healthy Behavior and Inspire Fulfillment in Men over 50. 
Bezich doesn't just give evidence-based facts about healthy lifestyle choices--diet, exercise, stress management. He also discusses the psychology of changing one's habits.
Consequently, he includes information from psychology alongside information from the health professions. The book includes not only research from scholarly journals but interviews from case studies conducted by the author. The reader gets to "hear" the experiences of mature men taking control of their health.
Bob, a 65-year-old vet, explains how he conceptualizes his time at the local YMCA:
"When I go to the gym I feel like I'm making a deposit for my future--my future health and fitness." 

David, a 55-year-old divorced shipping manger, describes his change from running full marathons: "I don't have to run a marathon anymore. If I can do a half marathon, that would be fine. Sometimes you're not going to have the same goals, but as long as you're still getting out there, I think everything will be all right." 

 Tom, a 78-year-old tour guide, describes the role of optimism in his life:
"I understand that there's two sides to almost every issue. And, I like to think that either I can influence the outcome, and it would be a positive outcome if I'm influencing it. And so, I think that's kind of optimistic." 

After a few chapters providing context, Bezich presents the core ten chapters:

  • Assess Your Current State
  • Create Your Vision
  • Build Your Strategy
  • Create Your Personal Lifestyle
  • Design a Sustainability Plan
  • Leverage Micromotivators
  • Diversify
  • Be Optimistic
  • Adjust
  • Be a Hero

The language of the book reminds me of books like Steven Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. (1989).  It convey's the can-do attitude of the American dream. There is a lot of really good information based on 21st Century science. I teach a university class on the biology of aging, and Bezich refers to some very sound principles of diet, exercise, and stress management.

If you are still refining your New Year's Resolutions for better self-care, this book will help support changes to the mind and body.

Essence of Motivation

"I am intimately involved with the struggle between what we should be doing for our health and what we actually do. I am a physician whose main calling is to improve men’s health for the 50 and over crowd, the very demographic for which this book is written. The problem is that we all know what’s needed— exercise, eat right, and partake sensibly of modern healthcare resources. However, most of us fall miserably short. Bezich’s book used modern psychology research and individual interviews of self-motivated men to help us connect with the essence of motivation. He shows how fitness and dietary behavior—if it is going to be sustained on an ongoing basis—can’t be separated from one’s overall lifestyle and relationships. He offers solutions to the problem of how to find inner resources to engage in doing the most important health-related activities—diet, exercise and visiting the doctor—and sustaining this healthy behavior over a lifetime. Let me emphasize that this is a really big deal. On average, women live 5 years more than men, mostly due to differences in cardiovascular mortality. Cardiovascular disease is highly treatable, but an optimal program requires regular exercise, a good diet and appropriate medical care. Most of us lack sufficient motivation to optimize these factors. For example, huge numbers of men don’t even get annual physicals. My front office staff is in a constant battle just to get existing patients to make appointments to come in for checkups. In this book, Bezich skillfully reveals a doorway to a long-lasting solution by helping us to identify our internal goals for life and act on them. Survival is the Holy Grail and Bezich’s book maps a pathway to success." 

-Mark Scholz, MD


Informative Read on Promoting Good Health

"I enjoyed reading this book and learning about encouraging good and healthy habits in men over the age of 50. I graduated in human development and specialized in gerontology, so I am used to studying adults who are much older and have already made the lifestyle choices that led them to the health-standpoint they are at currently. This book by Louis Bezich was refreshing for me because it shifted my focus from the already affected to those who still have a chance to choose healthy behavior and direct their lifestyles towards good health and fulfillment. I would recommend this book to anyone who is even slightly receptive to learning about improving health, particularly in aging men." 

- Lillie S. 

Motivation lifestyle change for the man in your life

"This book takes a deep look at men’s health for gentlemen in their 50’s. As my husband just turned 50, I wanted to see what we are in for health wise. I loved how it taught us just how much their loved ones impact the men we love. Deep down, it is all about the motivation for them to want to be better for their loved ones. I found it truly motivational to be able to help my husband improve his health, not only for children but for himself as well." 

-Patty Beyer

Crack the Code

"Crack The Code takes a deep look at the reality surrounding men’s health at age 50+, targeting behavior and motivations common to healthy/active men, and provides a map to creating your own healthy lifestyle. Bezich uses data to focus on the concerns of men’s health, such as rate of heart attacks to low rates of use of preventative medical care, and compares this to studies showing that men often rate themselves as ‘good health’ or better, showing a gap in how many unhealthy men think of their health and the actual reality. On the other hand, interviews and studies of healthy men show they have a strong link of conceptualizing and internalizing the fact that their behavior affects their health and what it provides, like the idea that healthy routine exercise keeps a person able to travel, visit family, keep up with grandchildren, etc. Crack The Code focuses on highlighting that awareness for people following the steps, and guides you to create a thoughtful plan to directly relate back to your values and priorities, to connect them with others, to keep you motivated and on a reasonable, healthy track." 


Taking Health and what matters seriously

"Mr. Bezich's story was honest and filled with practical examples of not just his lifestyle but of others who were brave enough to share. I liked Mr. Bezich's approach because he built his case from his early life to the current state. This book is for any man or person looking to build a healthy lifestyle and become more mature in living life on purpose. Mr. Bezich made some mistakes personally and professionally but built upon those things to become a better man, Father and husband. His story will change people's minds and lives for the better."

-Ariike Okanlawon

Living a better life after 50

"Crack the Code by Louis Bezich was not only very informational but it gets in deep to the psychology of what motivates men over 50 to establish a healthier lifestyle. It uses action plans and step by step guidelines to get to the root of the issues and then helps to develop a plan to lead a better more fulfilling life. Even though there were many great points my favorite section was on motivation. Bezich describes the importance of priorities and finding inspiration. He incorporates his family, mostly his Dad, into his anecdotes and stories. This book was organized and written well. It gives you the information you seek and then ask you thoughtful questions that tease the brain and have you looking into your own lifestyle and how you can make it better. I liked the set-up of this book and think it would be a great gift."


Men of all ages and the people that love them...

"My father recently turned 60 and I was interested in this book as a gift for him and myself. As his daughter and now mother of two boys, I can’t help but feel some responsibility for helping my dad maintain a healthy lifestyle. My parents divorced after 32 years of marriage so I needed to step up a bit. This book showed me how truly influential I, and my family, really can be in helping him live healthy. It provides practical advice that even stubborn men, such as my dad, can implement for positive changes. I highly recommend this to all men, we all eventually get older, and the people that love them. We play a bigger role then we realize in their lifestyle decisions. Perfect gift for the men on your list."

-K. Allison Davis 

Explanations of life changes for men over 50

"This is an interesting read describing some of the changes that men over 50 experience. The author describes ways to deal with such changes, and embrace them. Learning healthy behaviors, both mentally and physically, can help men over 50 and their families deal with these inevitable changes in life. To help "crack the code," the author provides questionnaires and a "Healthy Behavior Start-up Guide" to guide the reader on the right direction to properly deal with the changes of life. The author also shares stories of first-hand experiences and suggestions to help loved ones embrace the changes that life offers. In addition, scientific points of view are given to help those that need a more solid argument. Overall, this is an interesting read with great suggestions to better the life of men over 50."

-H M Brown 

Lots of great information

"This isn’t some fad diet book, nor is it promoting any magic pills or supplements. This is an in depth look at health challenges men of this age group face and how to focus on taking charge of their lives and become the healthiest versions of themselves. It is not just a step-by-step, do this plan - the psychology of behaviors is examined and explained. There are several areas where partners are addressed, which helps me to understand how I can be supportive and motivate my partner to be healthy in ways in which he responds. While this is focused on men over the age of fifty, there is information that is beneficial to people of all ages."


Health of the 50 + male

"Habits, routines and rituals of a healthy male. Motivation to get to that point is given to us in a very interesting and informative read. The book talks about the importance of other people in a man’s life and how important and significant it is to a man’s overall health. Discover the specific factors that drive a man’s motivation about his health and how to use them for a healthy future. The book demonstrates the power of motivation and the benefits it has in health for men. There is an action plan and strategies in order to help men have a better lifestyle and health. This was a very informative book with practical solutions not just glossing over things but giving real life ideas for a man’s better health."

-Janice C. Vondra 

Embrace Change!

"As a child of a 50-something year old father, it's interesting to see how much-loved ones play a part in the motivation of men. We all understand that the father of the household has the motivation to provide for his family. However, the motivation for his health doesn't only come from wanting to be  healthy for himself, but also from wanting to be healthy for his loved ones. This book dives into methods and steps to ensure you're living your life to the fullest potential, including a Healthy Behavior Start-Up guide, questionnaires to guide you through the changes, spouse/partner goals to ensure you're both on the same path, etc. It also includes life stories from various people who have gone through struggles or obstacles that caused them to adapt and change their goals in life, which I think is a great tool for readers to be able to relate to. The book dives into some psychology of sustainable behavior, which I think will intrigue readers who look for more of a factual, more concrete basis of change. Overall lesson from this read- embrace change!"