Studies have demonstrated that aerobic exercise can enhance insulin sensitivity, however, the precise mechanism for this outcome is not entirely identified. Emerging evidences point out that exercise can upregulate galanin protein and mRNA expression, resulting in improvement of insulin sensitivity via an increase in translocation of glucose transporter 4 and subsequent glucose uptake in myocytes and adipocytes of healthy and type 2 diabetic rats, which may be blocked by galanin antagonist. In return, galanin can exert the exercise-protective roles to prevent excessive movement of skeletal muscle and to accelerate exercise trauma repair in exercise-relative tissues. Studies also implicated that combination of aerobic exercise and activation of galanin system may make more significant improvement in insulin sensitivity than that of either one did. These suggest that galanin system is essential for physical activity to alleviate insulin resistance, namely, the beneficial effect of physical activity on glucose uptake is at least partly mediated by galanin system. Besides, co-treatment with galanin and exercise is an effective therapeutic strategy for reducing insulin resistance.