How to handle a hypo mid-workout!

I know it can be incredibly annoying and disheartening when a hypo hits mid-workout, I struggle with this quite frequently and sometimes I can be really hard on myself because of it.

So I wanted to make a post about what I like to do to prevent myself from having these negative and detrimental feelings when a hypo hits mid-workout.

Keep reading for my tips on how to handle a hypo mid-workout!

Wait it out!

Firstly I want to make sure you are carrying a hypo snack with you at ALL times. This might sound obvious to some, but I know many people forget or think they will be fine. If a hypo hits and you cannot have your treatment immediately, it will prolong hypo recovery and makes it more likely you will have to stop your training session completely.

My favourite hypo snacks to have in my gym bag are bananas or fresh smoothies. I find that these snacks get my sugar levels up faster compared to sugary chocolate or biscuits when I am training. I also tend to carry some oat cakes or cookies with me for a source of complex carbs, my favourites are by a brand called Nairn’sgo check them out!

wait it out - hypo mid-workout

When your hypo hits mid-workout, grab your snack and wait 10 minutes after consuming it. If after 10 minutes your levels are on the way up and you are starting to feel better, this is a good indicator that you can continue to train.

Now, wait another 10-20 minutes to see if your sugar levels are remaining stable. If you feel better and like you can continue to train, go for it! Just make sure you are being patient and realistic with yourself.

If you are struggling to get your sugar levels back up this is an indicator that maybe you should reconsider your workout. If you have to throw in the towel that is fine! We all make misjudgements, it is normal and part of the process.

It doesn’t make you a failure

If you cannot keep training, stop, recover, and try again tomorrow.

rest and recover, hypo mid-workout

Just because you couldn’t complete one workout does not make you a failure, it is not going to prevent or undo progress, it just means your body needs some TLC.

Whenever I have a hypo that hits mid-workout I automatically lean towards ‘telling myself off’. I have to remind myself that sometimes it happens and I need to be gentle with myself and adaptable.

So rather than forcing the rest of a workout when you feel terrible after a hypo, let your body recover and hit the same workout again tomorrow. You haven’t failed until you stop trying is a motto I live by. So pushing a workout back to tomorrow is not the end of the world because you are still going to complete it!

Do something productive instead

Don’t sit there afterwards getting more and more annoyed at the fact a hypo hit mid-workout. Get up and do something else that is productive for you.

productive after hypo mid-workout

I found this to be a very useful tip and way of looking at it because you are still achieving. While that might not be the workout you planned, it can be time well spent rather than thinking that you have wasted time.

To keep my mind occupied and to feel a sense of accomplishment, I like to read, do some cleaning/tidying, cooking or meal-prepping. These are just some ideas, but obviously choose something that will help you and keep you feeling productive.

Learn from it

Once you have recovered and you are in a good state of mind, have a look at the possible reasons as to why a hypo hit mid-workout.

Obviously sometimes hypos can pop up out of the blue and there is little you can do to prevent them.

But a lot of hypos are preventable when we start to look at different factors.

For example think about:

  • The type of exercise you were doing
  • All of the insulin doses you took prior to working out
  • What did you eat before training
  • How were you feeling before training

Once you have looked at the different reasons why, you can now implement prevention methods before your future workouts. For example, if you realise that cardio causes a hypo mid-workout, take this into consideration before training. Have an extra snack/more carbohydrate, decrease your insulin dose and make sure you are feeling well and ready to train before working out.

A final point to note is to utilise your CGM or FGM to build some data about how different types of exercise impacts your sugar levels differently. For example, my FGM helped me to realise that cardio makes my levels drop quickly, whereas weight lifting can initially cause my sugar levels to spike a little. So if you train a lot I would highly recommend trying out a CGM or FGM to make sure you are getting the most out of workouts.

For more information check out my Diabetes technology 101!

Thank you for reading my guide on how to handle hypos mid-workout! I hope you found this useful and relatable, make sure you drop me any questions you have and give me a follow on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to read my Simple guide to fitness with diabetes! and 5 foods diabetics should be eating!