Subject to the qualifications below, it is my view that ALL CARDIO IS CREATED EQUAL. What I mean by this is that one cardio is not "better" than the other. What is key is that you get your heart rate and keep your heart rate between your fat burning range. Once your heart rate is at the right number, the fat in your bdoy does not differentiate between say jogging, eliptical training, hiking, dancing , or whatever.
THE FORMULA FOR FIGURING OUT ONE'S TARGET FAT BURNING RANGE
(220 - your age) * 65% = your lower limit.
(220 - your age) * 75% = your upper limit.
So for me, since I am 29 years old, my numbers are 124 and 143. My fat burning range, that is, is 124-143. If I keep my heart rate between these two numbers, I am burning fat and and not muscle.
If my heart rate exceeds my upper limit for longer than 90 consecutive seconds, then my body will start burning muscle not fat.
The key, then, to doing cardio correctly is to make sure you know what your numbers are (using the above formula) , and to make sure, when doing cardiovascular activity, that your heart rate stays wthin your range. You wil notice that as your heart becomes more fit, you will need to do a more intense activity to get your heart rate up to your fat burning range. For example, when I was out of shape, a light jog was enough for me to get my heart rate to 135 (which is wthin my numbers and therefore okay). However, as I became more fit, I needed to jog faster or power walk on a steep incline to hit that 135 mark, which is great news because it just means that your are in better cardiovascular shape than before.
So there you have it - the key is your heart rate and not so much the activity itself. Whether you do jumping jacks, wave your arms violently in the air like a complete lunatic while jogging lightly, dance to intense salsa music, run, whatever, as long as your heart is beating at the correct number, then you are burning fat adn not muscle.
However, all cardio is obviosuly not equally fun and so do what is fun for you. Moreover, some forms of cardio are easier on the joints than others.
When you become more cardiovascularly fit, you may consider interval training, which in my view is the most effective in burning fat. Interval training is when you spike your heart rate up to about 85 -90 % of your maximum heart rate in brief intervals. The brevity of these intense intervals is key, because if you are above your upper limit for more than about 90 consecutive seconds, your body starts burning muscle and not fat. See the scientific explanation of this given by Kollision in a post called "abs..definition" by danielatler.
What I do is two minutes where my heart rate is at 135, and then one minute of a spike (usually sprinting) when I spike my heart rate up to 170. After the one minute of high intensity, I slow down again to a light jog for two full minutes, so my heart rate comes down again and stays down before I spike it back up again for one intense minute.
So 2 minutes moderate, one minute intense, two minutes moderate, one minte intense........ for twenty minutes.
You can find advice and tips on how to shed body fat with proper cardio etc under the Fitness Category, in the post entitled "My two cents...".
Hope that helps.