To avoid pooling of blood in the muscles and to remove metabolic end-products (i.e., lactic acid and carbon dioxide), exercise should end gradually. The cool-down, or recovery period, is very important because it will determine how you feel several hours after your workout. A cool-down should use the same muscles just exercised, and should be done at a light pace for at least 5 minutes after your main workout. This may help prevent muscle cramps, stiffness, and preserve performance during subsequent exercise.
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