Daisy and I received a very nice gift last month: it’s a book on walking.

Hmmm, you know, I’ve always felt that my Mom and Dad did a good job of teaching me how to walk. Seventeen years later, their lack of follow-up and obvious lax standards were efficiently cleaned up by Sergeant Hannah.

Indeed, when we were marching, I was often the only one in step.

So, today, I would say that walking is one of those skill sets that I have a lock on (also checked off from that list are breathing, chewing and saying inappropriate things when I’m nervous).

It was several weeks, then, that I finally picked up the book, The Complete Guide to Walking for Health, Weight Loss, and Fitness. I had already finished reading everything else in the bathroom – The Ultimate Guys’ Q&A, Gary Lautens’ collection of columns, Dilbert’s Excuse Me While I Wag, Shape and Style at Home magazines — and so I gave this 258-page effort a look-see.

The first chapter I saw was the one on weight lifting. What? Obviously, I need to read further.

It says that building muscles reduces risk of injury and is important to overall health.

Overall health, eh? I guess that’s why Sergeant Hannah made me do all of those push ups.

I really should go to the beginning of this book: The index says it starts with the chapter, Don’t I Already Know How to Do This? OK, that’s a good one … it got me there. It says walking is not a fad, nor one of those quick fixes you read about. It gives you the same “total energetic high and cardiovascular fitness than any other single activity, with far less damage to your body.”

OK, I’m interested. I read further and I see that walking is good for your heart, lungs, blood, muscles, bones and joints, brain, gastrointestinal tract, immune system, mood and spirit.

And for relationships, too (that was all me … it’s not in the book). Daisy and I walk every night for more than an hour. On the weekends, we will go for a two-hour-plus walk. And, that whole time, we are talking and holding hands, dissecting our days and planning for our future.

How many couples talk to each other for an hour a day? That’s gotta be good for any relationship.

Since we started doing this regularly about three months ago, I’ve noticed that I can get in and out of the truck easier. That’s a little thing, I know, but my 48-year-old body just seems to work better.

And, since we started walking regularly, I haven’t lied awake at night worrying about front page photos or cell phone plans or that thing I should have said when that guy ignored the lineup to the self-serve checkouts at Superstore and butt in front of me.

So, yeah, this is a great book to have.

Oh, and not for nothing, but according to the photos in the book, anyone who walks for exercise looks really, really hot.