The golden years are the lovely times after retirement. All your bills are paid off and you no longer need to sit in early morning traffic to sit at desk from nine to five. These are the years when you get to enjoy your own schedule and life to its fullest.

Don't look at the golden years and think that your best years are behind you. In fact, there are still plenty of good days to come. In order to make sure you live your best possible life during these precious years, it's important to stay in good shape.

Next to diet, exercise is one of the major factors that plays a role in your health. It is important to get exercise on a daily basis since prevention is more important than a cure. Exercise is important for keeping your heart, mind and body active and healthy. To get active and experience optimal results, consider these top five exercises and incorporate them into your weekly workout regimen.

1. Walking

Walking is an easy one because it is something everyone does on a daily basis. It's wise to take out some time to get outside in the fresh air and walk. In order to get your heart rate up, walk briskly. Consider setting goals for how many steps you can fit into your walk. If you have a smartphone, you can find a number of health apps that allow you to track the steps you've taken. Try to aim for a goal like 10,000 steps a day first and take it from there.

2. Swimming

Swimming is an amazing form of cardiovascular exercise. It's primarily good for seniors, because it is so gentle on the body. Many other cardio exercises like running and jumping jacks can be tough on the joints and cause injury. Swimming provides little pressure on the joints and works virtually every muscle in the body. It is especially great for those who may be suffering from back pain or arthritis. After a few laps in the pool, you'll feel like you've received a solid workout from head to toe. Not only that, but you don’t even have to do laps if you’re not up for that. You can play water volleyball or basketball with your friends or family. Plus, who doesn't love taking a nice dip in the pool? Just swim around and have fun!

3. Weight Lifting

Depending on your skill level, you might want to be careful with how much weight you lift. However, it is still good to lift weights. Weight lifting is good for building muscle and burning fat. It's also good for keeping the skin taut and tight. Weight lifting and resistance training can also improve bone density, reducing the risk of broken bones and osteoporosis.

4. Stationary Biking

Stationary biking is a fun and safe way to burn calories. If you're looking for a simple bike riding option and want to avoid riding in the streets, consider an indoor stationary bike. You can stay protected from the elements (and cars), while still getting a great cardio exercise. Gyms are getting cheaper and cheaper these days, so most everyone will be able to enjoy a stationary bike.

5. Hiking

Hiking sounds like a pretty strenuous activity, but in reality it doesn’t have to be. If you live near any mountains or hills, I am sure that there are plenty of easy trails for you to explore. Lather up on some bug spray, grab a map, and get out there! Don’t forget to wear comfortable but durable shoes and a hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes. Some easy trails may only be a mile long or less. Their difficulty level may be as easy as walking around the block and the only difference would be your surroundings. Plus, enjoying a bit of nature just might be therapeutic for you. If you like to take pictures, then don’t forget to bring a camera or smart phone with you. Just as a precaution, though, make sure that you research every trail online before you embark upon your adventure. Doing this will ensure that it will be a safe journey that you are capable of completing. Another safety tip regarding hiking for you to follow is to make sure that you let someone know where you are going and how long you expect to be gone. If you’re not up to full strength, though, make sure that you take another person with you to help you along the way.

These five exercises are great to fit into your workout regimen. Seek the help of a health professional with a master’s in aging degree to help you navigate everything. Your body will love the variety and will respond beautifully when it's challenged. Don't get comfortable in the rocking chair as a senior. Get out there and get the blood pumping!

Author's Bio: 

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.