Tips on Beating the Heat

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Temperatures are expected to climb dangerously high over the next few days. The heat index is predicted to hit 100 degrees. Here are some tips on what to eat, what to drink and where to go to keep cool.

Water is about to become our new best friend over the next few days. Dietitians say in this heat, we should have h2o on hand at all times.

"If you get to the point where you feel thirsty, you're already dehydrated, so make sure you're staying on top of it," says registered dietitian Kristina Thomas.

And when searching for cool eats, Thomas says fruits and vegetables are our best picks. They have a high water content which helps with hydration, and even though heat may hamper our hunger, Thomas says eat smaller portions, but do not skip meals.

"We tend to end up getting weak, and then you've got more of a chance of passing out."

This blazing sun can be dangerous, especially for those without air conditioning, but cooling centers have been set up throughout the city. They're places where people can go to escape the heat. The Salvation Army on Madison is one of those spots. At least 50 people have taken advantage so far.

"They appreciate it very much. Basically, we don't run any programs, but we do have reading materials as they sit and talk with others as they come in," says Col. Thomas Lewis.

Those with AC, however, may be worried about getting burnt on utility bills, but Rockford Energy director Mark Bixby says keeping our units running is actually our best bet.

"You don’t want to wait until it’s too hot to turn it on. Let it run at 80 degrees or whatever, but it's more energy efficient to do it that way," says Bixby.

But perhaps the most important things to remember are the signs that the sun has taken its toll. If you feel sick, dizzy or confused, get out of the sun and call a doctor immediately.

We've posted a list of cooling places as well as the times they're operating on our website. There are several locations throughout the stateline.