To choose the best stair climbing workout, the most important thing to do is to assess your level of physical fitness. Stair climbing is an intense workout that can put a lot of strain on the muscles and joints, so it is important to start slowly, and remain within a safe level of exertion. You will also need to consider where you will work out; of course, you can get a good stair climbing workout on a stair-stepping machine, but if you have at least one flight of steps in your home it is not necessary to purchase expensive equipment.
Stair climbing workouts are inherently very simple. You will walk or jog briskly up the stairs, then descend at a slower pace to avoid putting excessive strain on the joints. There are simply not many variations to a stair climbing workout. Some people will use handrails on either side of the stairs to pull themselves up and increase muscular strength in the arms, while others will take the stairs two or three at a time as they get in better shape.
When you are beginning a stair climbing workout and have never worked out on stairs before, you will want to start one at a time. You might begin by seeing if you can climb ten flights of stairs at a reasonable pace, two or three times per day. This is easier on the body than trying to climb twenty or thirty flights at once, but it offers similar aerobic and strength benefits. Over time, gradually try to increase the pace until you are jogging or running up the stairs.
People who are more physically fit may find that they can quickly increase the difficulty of their stair climbing workout. This may be done by tackling more flights of stairs at once, by increasing the speed that you run up the stairs, or by taking the stairs two at a time. Taking the stairs three at a time is possible for some people, but this is very challenging and can be dangerous if you are not ready for it, or if the staircase is very steep. Using a stair climbing machine tends to be somewhat easier than climbing actual stairs, since you do not have to lift your feet off the pedals.
Of course, safety is important when choosing a stair climbing workout. It is necessary to wear supportive shoes, stay hydrated, and warm up before beginning a workout. If you are running outside or in a building, choose well lit, often traveled areas. Also, be sure that the staircase you will use does not have loose boards or slippery surfaces.