As my regular readers know before I had children I was a circus artist. Obviously during that period I spent a lot of time keeping fit. I ran regularly, did weights, endless sit ups and did the skills training required to perform my act.

Things have changed since having children. I have been pregnant and given birth three times in the last five years. During my first pregnancy I was very disciplined, I swam regularly , did yoga and sported a neat bump and equally neat bum. Since then I have let things slide. My main form of exercise is child wrangling with a spot of biscuit lifting on the side.

My body is now saggier and baggier, but I have three wonderful children and consider this to be a small price to pay. However ,with diabetes in my family and three children to run around with, my mind has recently turned to keeping fit. Let me be clear I will not be giving up cake, nor aiming to lose weight. I simply want to improve my cardiovascular fitness and strengthen and stretch my muscles. I also want to set a good example for my children, that a healthy lifestyle is promoted in my family.

The problem is that as a busy mum of three attending the gym or long leisurely swims are unobtainable. So I have come up with five ideas for busy mums to work exercise into their lives. All without feeling like it’s taking up too much of their already scarce free time.

1.Put on some music and dance with your children. My children love dancing, they love dancing with me even more. I  choose a high energy, fun cd and dance full pelt with my children for as long as I can keep up. When I start to feel tired I will have a good stretch while my children carry on dancing.  This is great cardiovascular excersise and fab parenting to boot.

2.Running races. My eldest is a big fan of running. If you have a little runner then challenge them to a few races in the park. Running is a brilliant cardio workout.

3.Trampoline. If like me you have a trampoline, you have a brilliant, fun way to exercise sitting in your back garden. Have a bounce off with the children and see who can get to 100 bounces.

4.Walking. Take your children into the woods or country park and go for a walk. If your children are reluctant walkers then take scooters or bikes and try and keep up with them.

5.Exercise DVD. I have recently started to workout to an exercise dvd in the evenings after my children are bed. Its less time consuming than leaving the house to go to a gym or exercise class and is also more private if your feeling a bit shy. If you check out your local charity shop chances are high that you will find an exercise DVD for a couple of quid.

So there you have it, how to raise children and stay fit. As an added bonus your children will be worn out too and may even sleep better at night, brilliant.

If you are already a keen exercising mum with some inspired ideas for keeping fit let me know and I can try them out.