Yes, they very much do. A cool-down is an effective way for ensuring post-exercise recovery. It has a number of physiological benefits such as a faster recovery of heart rate, less muscle soreness, and more rapid reduction of metabolic by-products. It also helps in increasing the blood flow to muscles and skin. Moreover the movements we make during cooldown soothe our tired muscles, easing some of the damage caused during training and preparing our bodies to go back to exercise in the coming days.
As we exercise, our blood is pushed towards your extremities and the heart rate is on the high. So as we move to the cooldown, our heart rate returns to normal. If we choose to stop quickly without a cool down, it may result in light-headedness, dizziness and/or fainting. For instance, consider walking as a cool down after running. It is advisable to keep the duration of the cool down to somewhere between 2 - 5 minutes. Static stretching accompanied with deep and slow breathing finds an important place in cooldowns. It is beneficial for the body since it relieves from cramping, improves range of motion in the joints, minimises risk of injury and delays the onset of muscle soreness. While a mild discomfort is a part of stretching, pain is not. Cooling down provides an opportunity for the mind to relax while allowing the body to begin its recovery.
The main objective of a cooldown is for the body to recover as it returns to its homeostatic state. When done properly, it releases the stress on muscle fibers, tendons, ligaments, joints, and central nervous system. By using the breath and facilitating a calmer circulation throughout the body as a part of cooling down, lactic acid is shuttled away from the affected muscles, flushing blood back to the heart, and reducing any swelling and pain that could result from blood pooling and micro-tears. As we work out, our body temperature is inevitably increased. -. Once we cool down, we should try to drink enough fluids to destress the body
Van Hooren, B., & Peake, J. M. (2018). Do We Need a Cool-Down After Exercise? A Narrative Review of the Psychophysiological Effects and the Effects on Performance, Injuries and the Long-Term Adaptive Response. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 48(7), 1575–1595. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-018-0916-2