Never before has a sport provided proven medical benefits until it was discovered that surfing improves lung function in those who suffer from Cystic Fibrosis. Surfing’s new sister sport, standup paddling provides the same benefits and is less challenging because it is often done in flat water. Today, NEXT Swimwear is proud to announce it has teamed up with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to celebrate this sport that helps those with this inherited genetic disease breathe easier. The Inaugural NEXT National SUP Day to raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis is slated for Sunday, June 10, 2012 with events to be held in Newport Beach, CA, New York, Chicago, Minneapolis and Orlando, FL.
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections, and obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.
About five years ago, researchers in Australia discovered that kids with CF who surf had healthier lungs than those who didn’t. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation funded research for a hypertonic saline treatment that mimics a “surf session.” Today more than 70,000 people who suffer from CF experience the healing effects of the ocean during treatments in their own homes.
NEXT Swimwear, known for integrating swim, fitness, and fashion to create the ultimate collection of active and swim separates, recently launched a national awareness effort for Cystic Fibrosis through a hang-tag program that explains the disease and how the ocean provides a healing effect for CF patients. NEXT is also contributing to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation a portion of sales of its newest line of standup paddle apparel including tankinis, sports bras, boy shorts, swimsuits and more that feature the company’s signature NextFlex fabric that guarantees a minimum UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) of 50 to block 98% of the sun’s harmful rays.
“Standup paddling, and surfing provide such wonderful positive opportunities for people with Cystic Fibrosis, and we are excited to join up with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to bring this sport and its healthful effects to more people across the country,” said Lisa Vogel, president of NEXT Swimwear and the chief designer behind the company’s new standup paddle apparel line.
“Through the generosity and support of companies like NEXT, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is able to share the exciting benefits of these sports with the CF community,” said Michael Shumard, executive director of the Orange County Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. “We are grateful for their support and excited to be part of a national celebration of Stand Up Paddling.”
As part of the national Standup Paddling Day, public events will be held in five cities. These events will feature standup paddle demonstrations, food, games and special appearances by SUP athletes. The fun and games will begin at noon, local standard time, with a free SUP clinic for those who want to give standup paddling a try.
For more information about local events or to arrange a SUP Day event in your community, please visit NationalSUPday.com.