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Florida Church Members Launch Lenten Diet

BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) _ Instead of giving up the usual chocolate or coffee during the Lenten season, members of one Florida church are adding something _ exercise.

Advent Lutheran Church kicked off their six-week program ``40 Days of Fitness'' on March 1 to encourage members to get moving. The program offers free Saturday morning workouts, along with volleyball, yoga and cycling classes during the week.

Church pastor Andy Hagen sees the program as an alternative for Christians to the traditional sacrificing of the Lent.

``We like the idea that we would take on a routine of physical fitness instead of denial,'' he said. ``The connection between fitness of the body and spiritual development has been a real exciting experience for people that didn't make the connection of the two, but the Bible makes the connection all the time.''
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