The video viewed by millions that started it all
My First Exercise Book: a children’s book to inspire families to be active together.
My First Exercise Book is a beautiful and fun photography board book designed to motivate parents to be active with their young kids. As a father of two young boys, I know that my kids love books. But, not only do they love to read books, they love to talk about them ad infinitum, scrupulously study the pictures, quiz me on my retention of them, and get hands on experience with the things we read about. The photos in this book all include children and adults exercising together with short explanations and tips on how to perform each exercise. The result is a perfect way for parents and kids to get up and actually try out the exercises in the book.
There are many studies and news reports about the growing number overweight children and the risks surrounding them. My First Exercise Book will aid in the fight against childhood obesity by teaching kids how to exercise. However, my primary vision behind this book was to get parents, specifically fathers, more involved and active in the lives of their kids. When it comes to exercise for parents, people typically fall into one of two camps: 1) parents are too busy with young kids to exercise so they don’t do it, or 2) parents prioritize exercise by going to a gym or club regularly taking them away from their family. We hope this book introduces another option – parents can be active with their kids in order to maintain healthy habits, spend quality time together, and train their kids by example.
Safety resources for parents
When it comes to exercise with young kids, there is always the question of safety. The primary concern around children exercising is around weight lifting, which most physicians would advise against. However, My First Exercise Book includes only exercises that use body weight resistance, which is the safest way for kids to workout. This book includes the foundational exercises that have been included in physical education classes for decades because they are not only safe for kids, but they are vital for the proper health and develop of young people.
The story behind the book
Last year, my wife and I were living life raising our two boys and three small businesses when we got a big surprise. I often do family workout sessions in my living room with my kids. It’s great for me to be active with my kids, and it’s fun for them to copy me by doing the exercises I do. My wife decided to record some of the workouts, and I put a low quality video out on social media, and 2 weeks later, it had nearly 24 million views! I was getting calls from international news and media companies for interviews and TV appearances, and we were getting countless emails and comments from families who said they were inspired by our family workouts.
The most popular comment that we get on our videos is “this is going to be my family when I have kids!” Then, on Father’s day, two major media companies wrote articles about fatherhood that included my story. That’s when I really realized the reason our family video went viral is because the world enjoyed seeing a father having a genuine bond with his children. That night I told my wife I wanted to write a book to encourage a deeper relationship between fathers and their children. Two weeks later, I had written multiple manuscripts for children’s books. It was all I could think about.
After the attention from the family workout video, the logical next step was to publish the first book about parents and children being active together. I got an agent and we pitched the book to several different publishers. We got interest from every single publisher we pitched it to, but as we got further along in the process, the publishers wanted to change the direction of the book. All along, I had this feeling that God wanted us to self-publish, so I turned down the offers, and decided to launch this book through Kickstarter.
What is the intended age group of this book? People of all ages will enjoy looking through the photos and exercises in this book, but it is specifically designed for children ages 1 to 7 and their parents.
Why a board book? Our hope is that your family will use the book on a regular basis to exercise, and that it will become one of your child's most loved books. Board books are more durable to withstand plenty of use without risk of tearing the pages.
What is the size of this book? Each page in this book is 7.5" by 5.5" in landscape format or 15" by 5.5" per spread.
How many pages are in this book? There are 19 activities covering two pages for a total of 38 pages.
Who are the people in the book? The wonderful people in the book are our friends! They were so kind and generous to participate in this project that they believe in and support.
Risks and challenges
My First Exercise Book has already been written, photographed, and designed. We have even selected our printer for this book. The final step is raising the capital to self-publish. Once the funding is received, the book design will be sent to the printer for processing.
Our first Kickstarter project for FLYUP Fitness launched in 2013. This project was delivered about 2 months late due to unexpected delays from the multiple upstream manufacturers. Due to the nature of the project for My First Exercise Book, the risks of delay are significantly lower.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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