Jackie Edwards: Contributing Columnist for Healthy Living

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Jackie Edwards

Jackie Edwards

Jackie Edwards, mother of two young children and military spouse of nearly eighteen years, has been through three overseas assignments, two command tours, and three long term deployments. Currently serving as a Family Readiness Group Senior Advisor, Jackie dedicates a tremendous number of hours to creating programs and events designed to enrich the quality of life for military families, while advising twenty Unit Level representatives regarding Preparedness, Communication, Fundraising, Unit Activities and Community Outreach.

Jackie has always had a passion for fitness, and as an 8th grade social studies teacher at Mililani Middle School in Central Oahu, she coached both the track & field and cross country teams. While continuing with her coaching duties after leaving her teaching job to raise her family, Jackie founded the all-volunteer Great Aloha Running Team (Team GAR), growing the program from ten student athletes to a roster that now exceeds 60 runners – all while coaching with the “assistance” of her two children in their double running jogger in each and every practice and meet.

Twice recognized as State of Hawaii Coach of the Month for her inspiring leadership, Jackie took part in countless Benefit Runs and personal races, including the Oahu Perimeter Run in 2003, the Honolulu Marathon in 2003, the H.U.R.T. 100 (Hawaiian Ultra Running Team) in 2006 and ten Great Aloha Run races from 2003 – 2013, largely completed while pushing her son in his running stroller.

Jackie is a certified fitness instructor through AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America), teaches both Zumba Fitness and Step Aerobics, and volunteers as a Zumba Kids instructor through the CYSS (Child and Youth Services and Sports) program on post.  She is a licensed instructor for Zumba Basic 1, Zumba Basic 2, Zumba Pro Skills, Zumba Kids and Zumba Step, and maintains her certifications in CPR and First Aid.

Women, in particular, Jackie feels, have a tendency to wear MANY hats and to help MANY people.  As a result, women often neglect their own fitness and nutritional needs.   It’s important to realize and remember that a Spouse/Mom who maintains a healthy mind, body, and soul, Jackie stresses, will be better able to serve those around her.

Through her posts, Jackie shares easily adapted alternatives  for some of the not-so-healthy foods that we love. The result is healthier — yet still very tasty — alternatives that will leave you  FEELING GREAT well into the future!

Check back often for Jackie’s tips on incorporating fitness into your busy life,  even if it’s only 15-20 minutes a day, and to learn how involve your kids, too.

Jackie Edwards has been recognized on numerous occasions for her volunteer work and fundraising efforts, and received recognition as the Spouse of the Year by the Navy League. Edwards is also the recipient of the Dr. Mary E. Walker Award, a citation presented to outstanding military spouses for “demonstrating dedicated and exemplary volunteerism, that improved the quality of life for soldiers and their families.” 

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