Updated 27 June 2015

6 creative ways to stay warm when the lights go out

Winter! Loadshedding! What's a South African to do? You just need some bricks, a bottle of wine and a small room, says Health24 users.


The Western Cape is in for a rough weekend with a thankfully rare double cold front set to buffet the area with rain, snow and a very nasty chill. The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has warned that the Northern Cape should also be prepared for some cold weather conditions.


And there's still plenty of winter ahead of us – so it might be a good idea for the whole country to pay attention.

Of course, the cold isn't the only thing we have to worry about this winter; there's also the joyous intervention of loadshedding, which at the time of writing is occurring on an almost daily basis. Not being able to make a cup of coffee, watch TV or put on the heater makes the cold twice as bad. 

However, when life gives us lemons, we make lemonade – so instead of spending the winter being miserable, let's rather find a way to stay warm when the lights go out. Here are Health24's users' tips for creating some heat . . .

1. Heat up bricks by the fire

Yes, you may look like an amateur builder, but there's method in this madness. Lisa van Tonder says it works extremely well when she wraps the hot bricks in fleecy blankets or towels. "It's the perfect substitute for a hot water bottle," she says, "just be careful when handling the bricks, they can get pretty toasty."

Read: Load shedding: alternative power sources 101

2. Take a hot bath

It may sound simple, but "a hot bath can warm you up for ages when the lights go out," says Tercia Samuels.

"It doesn't only warm you up in the cold, it also helps you unwind, and forces us busy moms to take some time for ourselves," she adds.

Read: Top 10 ways to relax

3. Get some loving

Exercise is always good, but sexercise is even better. It might seem pretty obvious that when the lights go out and the chill comes creeping in, some sweet lovin' will keep you warm. Don't let this opportunity slip by – fight the cold with love. 

It's the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone.

Test: Not sure if you're ready for sex yet? Take the test.

4. Have a drink

If it's cold outside and you've got a bottle or two in the wine rack, why not pop a cork whenever Eskom decides it's your load that needs to be shed, advises Health24 reader Megan Adrhian.

"You don't need to finish the whole bottle; a glass or two is just enough to leave you feeling warm and comfortable."

ReadRed wine is good for lazy people

5. Get squatting

It might not be everyone's first choice, but the fitness fanatics among us will jump at the opportunity to get warm by squeezing in a workout, and its probably the most productive thing you can do.

Darren Bosch says it takes only two sets of squats to get him glowing – and you need don't need any fancy equipment.

Read: How to do bodyweight squats

6. Huddle together

Close the doors and windows and get the family to hang out in one room. Our bodies produce plenty of heat, so why let it go to waste? Even the most difficult teenagers should be able to spend a few hours with the family. 

"I see it as the perfect opportunity to bond with my family", says Mary Lawrence.

Read more:

How to survive load shedding

The health dangers of load shedding

Load shedding: alternative power sources 101

Image: Light in the darkness from Shutterstock


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Exercise benefits for seniors »

Working out in the concrete jungle Even a little exercise may help prevent dementia Here’s an unexpected way to boost your memory: running

Seniors who exercise recover more quickly from injury or illness

When sedentary older adults got into an exercise routine, it curbed their risk of suffering a disabling injury or illness and helped them recover if anything did happen to them.