October 23, 2007 12:00 am


Baker City Herald

Whether it's on the Leo Adler Pathway, along Baker City streets, strolling through Geiser Pollman Park, or even along a backroad off Dooley Mountain, Eloise Dielman enjoys walking.

Dielman, 67, began walking for exercise in 1995 to help combat her systemic lupus.

"Systemic lupus is a problem with my joints," Dielman says. "Walking is a gentle exercise to help keep my joints loose."

When she began her regime she could barely walk a mile. However, today she and Ozzie, her 3 1/2-year-old rat terrier, go walking at least twice a day.

"Back in 1995 I walked about two blocks and I hated it," Dielman says. "But my rheumatoligist suggested that walking was the best exercise for me. He said biking also was good for me."

Almost every morning Dielman and her pet traverse the Adler Pathway. Afternoons, they may be found walking Baker City streets, or other shorter jaunts.

"We love our pathway walk," Dielman says. "And we enjoy walking around town, and in our neighborhood.

"We also like to go out in the country to places like Phillips Lake, the 203 pond, and Virtue Flat. It's just good to be active.

"It's good for me physically, and it's good for me as a person to be out each day," Dielman says.

The retired teacher has many motivations for walking, including her mother.

"My mom is 97 and living over on the coast. I have 30 years to catch up to where she is," Dielman says. "I want to be physically and mentally stable should I last that long.

"Walking is considered one of the best activities to keep a person active. It ups your cardio system and stimulates your breathing."

Dielman at times goes with her husband, Gary, up to Dooley Mountain and walks on Forest Service roads.

"Gary goes too fast for me most of the time. We sometimes go to Dooley, but I generally stick to more level surfaces," she says.

Dielman says it's a good idea to warm up before walking, but it doesn't have to be a strenuous workout.

"I pretty much just start walking now. When I first started I did some stretching before I started walking," she says.

Finding time to walk is another thing.

Dielman squeezes her walking schedule around volunteer work at the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center and the library.

She walks the Adler Pathway mornings, usually for about an hour. Then, her afternoon walk usually lasts about a mile, or about 40 minutes.

"I feel so much better than I did 10 years ago. I'm stronger than I was then. And, it helps me with weight control along with my medications," she says.

And walking is a good way to meet other people doing the same thing.

"Every once in a while we encounter people on our circuit. Most of the times they are chance encounters," Dielman says. "But, from a social aspect, we see a lot of familar faces, and dogs.

"I usually walk at my pace, and Ozzie does his thing," she says. "He's very good about staying nearby, but he likes to investigate everything out there."