Whether you're lifting a kettlebell or a garbage can, you're reaping health benefits. Wellness emanates from natural body movements that were habitual long before the advent of health clubs and stair machines.

Exercise helps you stay fit, but it doesn't replace staying active throughout the day according to a study in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.

Only a minority of people have active day jobs or wake up to farm work at 4am for that matter; many are bridled to their cars failing to use their feet as transportation. Americans struggle to accumulate enough steps on a daily basis to please a pedometer.

Pair all of this with the bonanza on grocery store shelves, and the glut of fast foods and it all starts to make sense. Diabetes is at an all time high — we're working our pancreases into serious overtime.

An Average Day

Compare your day to one you think your ancestors had (hint- envision Little House on the Prairie). We don't work for our food, in fact many people drive from their garage to the parking garage at work, sit all day, get back in their car, get dinner at a drive through and drive back into their garage at the end of the day. Hard labor is a thing of the past, we have too many conveniences to assume daily life will provide the balance we truly need without seeking physical movement.

According to Outside Magazine: "Regardless of when exactly it happened, somewhere along the line moving without fitness in mind became “pre-industrial,” and a deliberate regime of moving became exercise."

Gadgetry

You don't need to unload your bank account on a fancy self-tracking device. Start on the cheap with a pedometer and see what your output is every day.

Check out Amazon's list of the top 20 pedometers — they start at $12, or head over to the American Heart Association where they sell a pedometer for $5, and also have a free Online Activity Tracker to utilize.

How Many Steps Per Day?

The magic bullet appears to be 10,000 steps, rounding out to about 5 miles/ day— a reasonable number to achieve on a daily basis.

Pedometers have many people parking at the far end of the grocery store lot to increase their daily output — it's amazing what a simple counting device can do.

Before starting any exercise regime, be sure to speak with your care provider first for their input. Exercise will lower blood sugars, increase weight loss and often require diabetes medication adjustments.

To learn more on this topic:
Walking vs. Running: Which Is Really Best?
Exercise Habits to Ditch
How to Start a Diabetes-Friendly Exercise Plan