Exercise is beneficial for many aspects of mental and physical health, but may be particularly important if you are taking a GLP-1 medication. 

A 2022 study found that when exercise and GLP-1 medications were paired together, subjects saw significant improvements in glucose tolerance, insulin, glucagon, and visceral fat volume. Another 2023 study found similar improvements with the combination of GLP-1 and exercise but also noted lower markers of inflammation and improved metabolic syndrome. 

Researchers believe that GLP-1 medications may work synergistically with exercise to improve a variety of metabolic parameters related to blood sugar regulation, body weight, and cardiovascular disease risk factors. 

What type of exercise is best?

The studies discussed above evaluated the impact of GLP-1 medications paired with moderate to strenuous-intensity cardiovascular exercise. The CDC recommends 150 minutes per day of moderate activity paired with 2 days per week of strength-building activity or 75 minutes per week of strenuous activity, paired with strength-building. 

Moderate-intensity exercise would include brisk walking, dancing, house or yard work, or water aerobics. Strenuous activities would include jogging, cycle classes, HIIT workouts, or jumping rope. 

At this time, there is no specific type of exercise that is recommended for people taking GLP-1 medications. The important thing is staying consistent and exercising regularly. 

Staying Consistent with Exercise

When you are taking a GLP-1 medication, you will likely see better results when you pair it with regular exercise. So how do you stay consistent?

  • Start by picking a workout you enjoy. The most benefit comes from exercising regularly, so pick something you love!
  • Put exercise on your calendar, just like any other appointment. 
  • Set and track your exercise goals. Start with 3 days a week and work your way up. Track your progress as you go.
  • Focus on what you can do, instead of being perfect. Only have 10 minutes? Start there! It’s better than nothing. 
  • Find a partner or class for accountability.

Exercising while taking a GLP-1 medication can boost your results by increasing your calorie burn and improving your blood sugar. Moving your body regularly is the best way to help optimize your results. 


  1. Åkerström, T., Stolpe, M. N., Widmer, R., et al. (2022). Endurance Training Improves GLP-1 Sensitivity and Glucose Tolerance in Overweight Women. Journal of the Endocrine Society, 6(9), bvac111.
  2. Sandsdal, R. M., Juhl, C. R., Jensen, S. B. K., et al. (2023). Combination of exercise and GLP-1 receptor agonist treatment reduces severity of metabolic syndrome, abdominal obesity, and inflammation: a randomized controlled trial. Cardiovascular Diabetology, 22(1), 41.

Hamasaki, H. (2018). Exercise and glucagon-like peptide-1: Does exercise potentiate the effect of treatment? World Journal of Diabetes, 9(8), 138–140.