In the present study, we investigated the effects of treadmill exercise on lipid peroxidation and Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1) levels in the hippocampus of Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats and lean control rats (ZLC) during the onset of diabetes. At 7 weeks of age, ZLC and ZDF rats were either placed on a stationary treadmill or made to run for 1 h/day for 5 consecutive days at 16∼22 m/min for 5 weeks. At 12 weeks of age, the ZDF rats had significantly higher blood glucose levels and body weight than the ZLC rats. In addition, malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in the hippocampus of the ZDF rats were significantly higher than those of the ZLC rats whereas SOD1 levels in the hippocampus of the ZDF rats were moderately decreased. Notably, treadmill exercise prevented the increase of blood glucose levels in ZDF rats. In addition, treadmill exercise significantly ameliorated changes in MDA and SOD1 levels in the hippocampus although SOD activity was not altered. These findings suggest that diabetes increases lipid peroxidation and decreases SOD1 levels, and treadmill exercise can mitigate diabetes-induced oxidative damage in the hippocampus.