Al Roker Is 'Glad to Be Alive' While Celebrating 69th Birthday After a Year of Health Struggles

The beloved 'Today' host documented his special day with a heartfelt message.

Al Roker has much to celebrate this year as he rings in his 69th birthday. The beloved Today host documented his special day on Sunday, telling fans he's feeling "grateful" after a year filled with health complications. 

"This is my 69th anniversary of orbiting the sun and after everything I went through at the end of last year, I am more than grateful to be celebrating this birthday," he said in a video shared to Instagram, taken while he was out enjoying a solo walk in the sunshine. "To all of you who sent good wishes and well wishes over this past year, God bless you. Thank you so much, I appreciate it." 

Roker, who has long been known for his commitment to walking and exercise, has had to adjust his wellness routine following long stints in the hospital late last year due to blood clots in his leg that ultimately veered to his lungs. After more than two months away from the morning show, Roker made his triumphant return to the program on Jan. 6, when he and Deborah Roberts -- his wife of nearly 30 years -- sat down and revealed he was "very, very, very sick" and that his mere presence in the studio was major because he proved to be "a living, breathing miracle."

Then, in May, Roker underwent a total knee replacement surgery. 

In his message on Sunday, Roker offered shout-outs to his Start Today and Today show family. 

"And, of course, my family," he continued, referencing Roberts, daughters Leila Roker and Courtney Roker Laga, and son Nick Roker.

"A lot to be grateful for on this birthday. Glad to be alive," he concluded. 

Among the highlights of Roker's year was undoubtedly becoming a first-time grandfather. Courtney and her husband, Wes, welcomed their first child -- a baby girl named Sky Clara Laga -- on July 3. Roker called her "one of the greatest gifts ever." He also shared a sweet pair of photos holding Sky on his birthday. 

Also that day, he and Roberts dropped Nick off for his sophomore year of college. "Back to the empty nest," he wrote on Instagram. 

Perhaps a close second in the birthday gift category was a brand-new outdoor griddle from his wife. Roker showed off his complete "Ring of Fire" in his backyard, which now includes an impressive array of five top-of-the-line outdoor cooking appliances. 

On the eve of his birthday, Roker enjoyed a beautiful spread of barbecue classics including smash burgers, cedar plank salmon, hot dogs, corn pudding, corn on the cob, baked beans, tomato salad and a garden salad. Then, he stepped out for a dinner at Bimi's Canteen and Bar on his birthday. 

On Monday, Roker discovered that he shares a birthday with Oscar winner Ke Huy Quan, posting a photo of them together on the Today set. 

"Wow. Look who I share a birthday with. Happy belated to the joyful, grateful @kehuyquan," he wrote. 

Earlier this year, Roker opened up to ET about his new normal as he puts his health at the top of his priority list. 

"What I will say is, one of the things I learned over the last several months is the power of positive thinking and the power of prayer," Roker told ET, reflecting on the changes he's made to his life since his hospitalization. "The number of prayers that came my way and my family's way, for Deborah and my kids, I know made a tremendous difference. And once you have a bit of a health scare, you really realize you can't take it for granted. So, I try and eat a little better [and] exercise a little more."

Roker added that another vital key to his routine is sleep.

"You know how important a good night's sleep is for your mental health, your physical health? Your body repairs itself, your mind repairs itself when you sleep," he said. "You cannot catch up on sleep and that has been my biggest goal, I think, in the beginning of the new year, is to try to get a minimum of six to seven hours of sleep a day."