Type 2 diabetes is one of the fastest growing public health problems in both developed and developing countries. It is estimated that the number of people with diabetes in the world will double in coming years, from 171 million in 2000 to 366 million in 2030. Cardiovascular disease accounts for more than 70% of total mortality among patients with type 2 diabetes. The associations of physical activity, physical fitness, and changes in the lifestyle with the risk of type 2 diabetes have been assessed by a number of prospective studies and clinical trials in the past decade. Several studies have also evaluated the joint associations of physical activity, body mass index, and glucose levels with the risk of type 2 diabetes. Prospective studies and clinical trials have shown that moderate or high levels of physical activity or physical fitness and changes in the lifestyle (dietary modification and increase in physical activity) can prevent type 2 diabetes. Our review of the scientific evidence confirms that 30 min/d of moderate- or high-level physical activity is an effective and safe way to prevent type 2 diabetes in all populations.