Should I do a cool-down after a run?

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Should I do a cool-down after a run?

Cooling down after a hard session or race helps with the recovery process, as it allows your body to return to its resting state in a more gradual way than stopping abruptly. Keeping the blood circulating with lower intensity movement helps clear the metabolic-waste products of exercise, such as lactic acid. It also prevents pooling of blood in the legs because your veins are given time to constrict and your blood pressure returns to normal. If you stop running suddenly you may feel lightheaded, owing to the sudden lack of muscle action, which boosts venous return (rate of blood flow back to the heart) while exercising, so it’s good to keep moving.

Gentle activity also encourages your body to start healing itself after the rigours of intense exercise. After a hard session or a race do some easy jogging, followed by some gentle static stretches to limit muscle tension and tightness. Stretching will suffice after an easy or steady run.