Cool down exercises are important to perform after almost any form of physical exercise, including running. Post-run exercises don't just allow you to cool down, but they also allow for your breathing rate and your heart rate to lower. You will know when your body has reached this level when you can start talking to people comfortably without having to catch your breath. Some people believe that cool down exercises are not that important, but this is not true. While exercises to warm you up are good for preparing your body for exercise, cool down exercises are essential at helping to return the body to its pre-exercise state.
Sometimes the easiest exercises are also the most effective, and nowhere is this rule more demonstrated than in the first post-run, cool down exercise: walking. The benefit of walking comes from the fact that it works to prevent your muscles from locking up. Your muscles have a greater chance of locking up after you have finished a run, in part because they are still stimulated from the run. If they begin to lock up, the muscles will start to cramp, get tight and then hurt. Walking is a way to smoothly ease your muscles from the workout they received from running back to their pre-running state.
2. Calf Raise Down
This second post-run, cool down exercise is also simple. Find a platform, such a stair step, and stand on it with the balls of your feet. As you do this, make sure that you don't lose your balance; hold onto something secure with your hands at the same time. Breathe properly, which means that you should exhale as you lower your heels down toward the ground. Permit your toes to raise themselves naturally. This is a handy post-run, cool down exercise since you can choose to do either with two feet, or with just one foot at a time.
3. Looking at Ceiling Stretch
The difficulty of this third post-run, cool down exercise is only moderate, so you should not have much trouble attempting it. After your run, kneel on the ground and then hold both of your heels with your hands as you lean back. Start to exhale, and as you do this, lift up your fanny and thrust it forward, all the while tilting your head backwards so that you make an arch with your back in this position. You will have achieved the full stretch when you're looking at the ceiling.
4. Slow Jog
A slow jog is the final post-run, cool down exercise that will come in handy. If you were running, slowing down to a jog for another 5 to 10 minutes will not just cool you down, but it will even condition your body for future workouts. Constantly jogging to cool down after your exercise will actually train your body to function while tired; this will have the effect of empowering you to tack on another couple of miles to your normal running routine.