A leisurely walk outdoors is more than just an enjoyable diversion. It can keep you in shape and healthy. And when you walk with others, the health benefits are boosted.

New research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine concluded that people who frequently walk outdoors in groups lowered their risk of cardiovascular disease, strokes and other serious illnesses. They also lowered their risk of depression because the group interaction lifted their spirits.

Now that spring is here, there are more opportunities to walk outside with others. Several local organizations are ramping up their nature walks where you can stroll in a group.

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The Hoffman Center in Muttontown, for example, holds biweekly walks through its nature preserve on Saturdays. Cost is $5. For a schedule, go to nwsdy.li/hoffman.

You can find a list of upcoming walks and hikes throughout Long Island at nwsdy.li/liwalk.