From gym to car in shorts & T-shirt in 20-degree weather... Bad idea?

The title about says it.

Four days a week, I go to the gym, work out for a half hour and then polish it off with a three mile run.

As soon as I finish cooling down and stretching, I grab my keys, shoot out the door, and go to my car, regardless of the temperature. It’s about twenty today, and it didn’t bother me in the least.

No shower. No sweat pants. No jacket.

Am I courting disaster?

All of the mothers of the world would wag their fingers at me and chant “You’ll catch your death of pneumonia!”, but I’m looking for real facts here.

What’s the SD on this?

I think they would be more concerned with the “what ifs”. I was always told to wear your coat in the car and not have the heat on as high in case you were ever in a wreck and were exposed to the cold while unconscious or immobilized.

That being said, I would probably court pnuemonia, too.

Pneumonia, colds, and other respiratory diseases are caused by bacteria and viruses, not by going out in the cold. You might be weakening your defenses just a tich by putting extra strain on your body, but I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it.

I would court pneumonia too. Also woo it, and send it flowers, and make it my own. I hate being overly bundled up in a car, unless it’s a convertible and I’m driving from Fargo to Minneapolis in February.

The only thing I can think of is that the shock to your system might be dangerous if you have a bad heart. You probably don’t have too much to worry about.

I do it all the time, and I’m no worse for the wear AFAIK. In fact, sometimes when I work out too hard and I feel nauseous the quickest way to fell better is a blast of winter air.

That’s one of the reasons why I can’t imagine living in, say, Fargo, ND. I would always live in fear of breaking down miles from nowhere in a blizzard.

I’m not really worried about not having a jacket as I brave the uncharted wilderness surrounding Trenton for the five minute drive home :wink:

The Master speaks…

(I’ve always wanted to say that!)

As per Cecil’s above linked article, the main concern of the OP might be cold stress rather than catching a cold.

However, even a cooled down exercised body will unlikely be stressed by the half minute walk to the car. The heat loss is not instantaneous. Only if there were really strong winds and freezing (i.e., super cooled) rain and a pack of wolves should one worry.

Although, one might want to take into account how long it takes the car to warm up, and, as mentioned above, whether there is warmer clothes in the car in case of a breakdown. At some point cold stress, then frostbite, then hypothermia, then death will set in, at that point, you’re a sitting duck for the wolves.


Really, I’d think if there were a pack of wolves hanging around outside your gym, you should be worried, regardless of the weather.