I am a cardio purest.
I believe that running is the most efficient and effective form of cardiovascular activity you can do for fat loss based on science:
If you want to lose weight, bottom line you're going to have to dramatically change your diet and add in cardio training 4-5 days per week plus a minimum of 2 strength training sessions. And sure for your cardio you could go biking or swimming but why on earth would you when you could run and get twice as much done in half the time?
A lot of my clients tell me they don't want to run because they are worried about knee problems. I then ask if they have knee problems and most then say no. So what's the problem? I'm not suggesting you need to run a marathon, on the contrary, the best form of cardio training is with short intense interval bouts.
On alternative forms of Cardio:
The truth about spinning is you're probably not working half as hard as you think you are. I've seen people walk in and out of spin classes for 3 years, going 4-5x per week and they look the exact same as they did when they first started. Imagine for a moment I put 20 treadmills in a room the size of the average spin studio, you know how hot it gets in there already? Well even if you were just walking that close to someone in a small stuffed room it would get pretty sweaty quickly. The sweat factor is what fools you into thinking you're working harder than you actually are.
If you have knee problems or other injuries that prevent you from running then by all means, spin spin spin. But in my personal experience the only time I've injured my lower body from over doing cardio was by spinning too much, the rapid turnover of the pedals caused major IT issues for me.
It's a total cop out and a waste of time. Nobody actually truly enjoys this machine and if you think you do then you are lying to yourself. So stop that!
The main thing is you need to find something that you will stick to. Running can feel super awkward at first but eventually most people end up enjoying the activity. A workout should be uncomfortable and in order to increase your overall happiness I suggest you learn to become more comfortable with that fact. So suck it up buttercup and lace up.
p.s. Thank you so much for your words of advice and wisdom yesterday. It was really helpful and I feel re-energized to blog again and again! Special thanks to Sarah Tory for the big pep talk e-mail!