A shower is inviting after a hard workout, but you should never rush straight under the spray. Take at least 10 or 15 minutes to cool down. You should not be sweating heavily or breathing hard when you hit the showers. Otherwise, you'll still be sweating when you finish and likely to become chilled if you go out into the cold.
Cooling down after exercise has other benefits. It gives your heart a chance to return to a normal pace. It minimizes the risk that you'll feel light-headed or dizzy, which can result from blood pooling in your large muscles, like hamstrings and quads, during a workout.
Start your cool-down period by doing light exercise like jogging or walking. Then take some time to stretch. Gentle stretching focused on the muscle groups you've worked will help speed your recovery and avoid tightness. You can continue stretching while you shower -- the warm water will relax your muscles [source: MyDr.com].