Exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle and frequently is an important component in combating chronic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes. Understanding the molecular events initiated by regular exercise is best studied in laboratory animals, with mice and rats being favoured for a number of reasons. However, the wide variety of rodent strains available for biomedical research often makes it challenging to select an animal strain suitable for studying specific disease outcomes. In the present review we focus on exercise as a management strategy for obesity and diabetes and we discuss: (i) exercise paradigms in humans shown to ameliorate signs and symptoms of obesity and diabetes; (ii) different rodent strains in terms of their advantages, disadvantages and limitations when using specific forms of exercise; (iii) the strengths and weaknesses of commonly used laboratory methods for rodent exercise; and (iv) the unintended consequences of exercise that are often manifested by increased hormonal and oxidative stress responses.

You do not currently have access to this content.