BACKGROUND: Exercise training programs have emerged as a useful therapeutic regimen for the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Majority of the Western studies highlighted the effective role of exercise in T2DM. Therefore, the main aim was to focus on the extent, type of exercise and its clinical significance in T2DM in order to educate the clinicians from developing countries, especially in Asians. METHODS: Pubmed, Science Direct, Scopus, ISI Web of Knowledge and Google scholar were searched using the terms "type 2 diabetes mellitus," "type 2 DM," "exercise," and/or "physical activity," and "type 2 diabetes mellitus with exercise." Only clinical or human studies published in English language between 2000 and 2012 were included. Certain criteria were assigned to achieve appropriate results. RESULTS: Twenty five studies met the selected criteria. The majority of the studies were randomized controlled trial study design (65%). Most of the aerobic exercise based studies showed a beneficial effect in T2DM. Resistance exercise also proved to have positive effect on T2DM patients. Minimal studies related to other types of exercises such as yoga classes, joba riding and endurance-type exercise were found. On the other hand, United States of America (USA) showed strong interest of exercise management towards T2DM. CONCLUSION: Aerobic exercise is more common in clinical practice compared to resistance exercise in managing T2DM. Treatment of T2DM with exercise training showed promising role in USA. A large number of researches are mandatory in the developing countries for incorporating exercise in the effective management of T2DM.