A lot of our patients are keen cyclists – cycling to work, taking part in triathlons or simply cycling for pleasure – and several of our team cycle to work.

Not so long ago, we shared a link [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35812984] about a survey that appeared to show that cycling as part of your commute – as well as walking and catching public transport – tended to help keep more weight off than taking the car.

While this makes total sense, many people are put off of cycling to work because of the safety aspect. Here is our advice to keep safe on the roads.

Get the gear
This may seem like an obvious piece of advice, but many people still take to the roads without the correct clothing. If you are cycling at night or in poor weather, you should always wear a high visibility jacket – in fact, make this a standard part of your kit night and day to be extra careful. Fit your bike itself out with some lights for night riding too – you can never be too visible!

You should also always have a properly fitting helmet. Get the best one you can afford and always wear it. A helmet should be like the seatbelt in your car – you should put it on without even thinking.

Take a Course
Many councils offer free cycle safety courses for all ages. Contact your local authority to find out if they offer one or if they endorse any locally.

A course will give you the chance to learn excellent cycle safety from an experienced instructor. Many instructors will also go out on the road with you, if you could use a boost of confidence before heading out on your own.

Keep to the Code
As road users, the Highway Code is invaluable as it means everyone is following the same set of rules. If you can’t remember it, or are a little rusty, you can pick up a new copy here [http://www.safedrivingforlife.info/shop/product/official-highway-code-new-edition-2015] to refresh your memory.

Be decisive!
When making a decision, be confident. This can be daunting, especially when it’s busy, but you are much more likely to be hurt if you backtrack in the middle of a manoeuvre. If you’re not sure what the right thing to do in any situation is, we would strongly recommend taking a course before taking to the road.