Umami is a term that doesn’t get nearly enough attention within our fitness culture.
It’s a Japanese term and, as I understand it, refers to a sensation of pleasure and satisfaction from a physical experience.
Think of when you slip into a nice hot bath and you issue a sigh of contentment. Or when you drink a great beer and you have the same reaction. It’s when we experience more than just the fulfillment of a physiological need to relieve stress. It’s when there is a physical, emotional and maybe even spiritual satisfaction and enjoyment about a situation.
I believe Umami is something we should strive for with our exercise, particularly during the first few moments of activity.
Exercise needn’t be a punishing and abusive form of training. Instead it should be a satisfying release of pent up tension. It should be the sensual enjoyment of the application of strength and skill.
Umami will help us understand that exercise is meant to be a pleasurable and enjoyable pursuit rather than just some clunky application of stress to hammer the body into shape. It should help us feel warm with fulfillment and satisfaction not beat up and stressed out.
What say you? Have you experienced Umami with your workouts and exercise? During what sort of activities have you experienced it?
In the next post I’ll share with you some ideas on how I think you can achieve Umami.