Why warm ups and cool downs are important.
To warm up before exercise or a run aids in your preparation, mentally and physically, it will reduce the chance of joint and muscle injury. Warm ups should be appropriate for the session ahead and can take from 3-10 minutes, they will gradually increase your heart rate and get the blood pumping.
Cool downs are just as important as warm ups and the aim is to return the body to its state of rest. Use the first couple of minutes to bring your breathing under control and allow the heart rate to return to its resting state. Then begin stretching the muscle groups you have used in the workout. Stretching will allow the muscles to return to their normal length, reduce muscle soreness and aid recovery.
Remember to take some deep breaths to oxygenate your system.