Originally Posted by sailor
Believe it or not (grin), it's actually better for the engine to warm up under light loads than to idle until warm.
Best way I can describe this, is that without any "load" on the engine, the moving parts tend to "flop around" more - creating stresses that aren't there in normal use.
Long times spent "idling" actually wear an engine MORE than normal highway driving for example, one of the many reasons "idle reduction technology" is a major issue regarding "Big Rigs" these days (Saving fuel & reducing emissions are the items in the news, but it does reduce maintenance & result in better longevity as well)
So for temps 50F and under, confirm if it is:
Light "load" > idle until warm > cold start and drive off immediately