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First: We need to stop looking at our feet. Auburn University fitness expert Dr. Michele Olson says a lot of gym newbies look down when they run, because they’re afraid they’re going to fall. But watching the spinning belt can cause vertigo. It also strains our neck, spine and calves…And the more we think about where we should put our feet, the more likely we are to misjudge our steps, and fall. The truth is: Keeping your shoulders back and your chin up when you’re running is the most stable position.

Next: Stop holding onto the bars. Since holding on supports some of our body weight, it means our workout is less intense. As a result, we burn fewer calories and build less muscle.

Finally: Don’t overdo it. We should only be minimally sore after a workout. And any pain should be in our muscles, not our joints. If our ankles, knees and hips are painful, or we’re so sore the next day we can barely move, we need to scale back our routine…And build up the length and intensity of our workouts gradually.