This article is from the Recreational Figure Skating FAQ, by Karen Bryden with numerous contributions by others.
The cool down consists in a gradual decrease of the intensity of a
physical exercise at the end of a work-out.The gradual ramping down of
activity his prevents a sudden stop of the blood flow to the muscles,
which can cause cramps or a drop in blood pressure and a feeling of
overall tiredness. Also, it uses up the excess adrenaline, which can
contribute to heart problems when left unused. Cooling down after a
tiring skating session also helps to get rid of lactic acid that may
have accumulated in your muscles during intense effort.
A cool down can consist in doing a few laps of gentle MITF before
leaving the ice or simply working or something which does not require
full power during the last minutes of the skating session.
Alternatively, you can walk around or jog gently for a couple of
minutes off the ice. Finish the cool down with stretching. It is
claimed that stretching the muscles used during exercise reduces
stiffness and soreness -in any case,it feels great! . Make sure that
the muscles you stretch are totally relaxed.