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Via CNN:

Hallelujah diets. Body by God. Karate for Christ. Gospel groove workouts. Using the Lord’s name (not in vain), fitness and diet enthusiasts are injecting the Almighty into nutrition programs, exercise DVDs, martial arts and healthy living courses.

In a DVD released in June, a gospel choir in full-length gowns sways back and forth while a fitness personality, Donna Richardson Joyner, sashays to her aerobic exercises. Her smiling, spandex-clad entourage echoes her movements. All lift their hands to praise the Lord.

“Give him some love!” she shouts. “Honor him!”

Exercise DVDs with religious themes, such as this one, have streamed into the market. More churches have opened fitness centers and started healthy living groups.

“People are wanting more out of what they’re currently getting,” said Brad Bloom, publisher of the Faith & Fitness magazine. “They’re tired of going to a church, to a routine show on Sunday morning. Then they’re also frustrated with the gym experience. People need something where they can get a comprehensive experience from it.”

This search for meaning has intertwined faith and health. Since the inception of the YMCA (originally founded as the Young Men’s Christian Association), support meetings at church basements and dieting books and programs with a hint of Jesus, such as “What Would Jesus Eat?” and the Weigh Down, faith-based fitness has had its followers.

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