Rob Lowe on Turning 60 : “Each Year We Get, We’re Lucky”

Updated: Feb. 16, 2024

"I'm the best version of myself that I've ever been," the legendary actor says in an interview about aging gracefully...and gratefully.

For years people have said that Rob Lowe doesn’t seem to age. The hair! The skin! The energy for his many jobs: He hosts a FOX quiz show called The Floor, a podcast called Literally! with Rob Lowe, and is preparing for the release of season 2 of his Netflix series, Unstable, which he stars in alongside his son, John Owen Lowe. It’s hard to believe that he’s turning 60 this March—proof that he has mastered aging gracefully. How does he do it?

He told us one constant is that he’s stuck to the same diet for decades. Lowe is dedicated to low-carb living (he has partnered with the Atkins brand but was a devotee long before). He divulged that he also prioritizes sleep, getting shut-eye more than the recommended seven to nine hours a night (it’s at least 9.5 hours a night, sometimes 11!).

Lowe chatted with The Healthy by Readers Digest about how he’s stuck with the same diet for so many years, how he feels about getting older, and the health effects of living gratefully.

Rob Lowe and son John Owen Lowe are seen on the set of 'Unstable' on January 26, 2024 in Los Angeles, CaliforniaMEGA/getty images
Rob Lowe and son John Owen Lowe on the set of ‘Unstable’ on January 26, 2024 in Los Angeles.

The Healthy by Readers Digest: You’re turning 60 this year. How does it feel to be entering a new decade?

Rob Lowe: I remember 40, I remember 50, and going into 60 feels exactly like that did early on. You’re like, Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god. And then as you get closer, I’m psyched.

Each year we get, we’re lucky. A lot of people don’t get [birthdays], and I feel like I’m the best version of myself that I’ve ever been. I felt that way at 40 and 50. If one keeps exploring and pushing and challenging themselves and staying interested and interesting, then age really is nothing but a number.

The Healthy: You’ve definitely done that. You’ve also said one of the things you’ve done for decades is embraced a low-carb diet. When did that start, and how have you stuck with the same diet for so many years?

Rob Lowe: You use the term diet—what it’s really been for me is a lifestyle. I started eating the Atkins way years before I ever got into business with them. And that’s why I think it’s been such a great partnership because I remember it was that moment in my early thirties when the metabolism had taken a turn and I’m like, You know what? I can’t eat how I ate as a college age guy in my twenties. And so Atkins is the sort of granddaddy of the low-carb, healthy proteins, low sugar lifestyle. But I’m really happy that they got into the tasty snack business, because I still have a really bad sweet tooth.

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The Healthy: Another thing that you do that has been proven to help with aging is getting a lot of sleep. You recently shared on your podcast that you get an embarrassing amount of sleep, which is a secret to your health. How many hours is that, and what is your secret to falling asleep and staying asleep that Americans have struggled doing?

Rob Lowe: Not only struggle doing for years, it was a badge of honor of, like, “I only need five and a half hour sleep, but I’m up and at ’em!” That was what go-getter types aspired to. We now know that that is not what you should aspire to.

So I’ve been ahead of the curve because for years [people would] be like, “Are you ever going to wake up? Wake up, you lazy bum.” And here’s the thing: I do my best thinking in the moments where you’re drifting off into sleep. It’s a very, very important time for your brain health. We know the recovery that our bodies do during actual sleep, so there’s so much new science and understanding around its importance.

I take it really seriously and I make sure I’m not looking at television or screens or my phone before I go to sleep. It’s dark. There’s no sound. I kind of move myself into it. I find that people who have trouble sleeping, if you talk to them, inevitably have very poor habits around sleep. They fall asleep on the couch with a remote in their hand or whatever it is.

The Healthy: How many more hours of sleep do you typically get?

Rob Lowe: I’m a solid nine and a half. That feels like a minimum for me. If I’m coming off of a movie or a TV show or travel, I’ll just go and go and go. I can do 10, 11 if I have to, but I never regret it. I love it. I love sleep.

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The Healthy: Outside of having a great diet and sleep, you also have a gratitude practice. What does that look like?

Rob Lowe: Well, it literally is that, it’s a gratitude list and I do it every day, but sometimes it is the beginning of the day. Sometimes it’s at the end of the day with a gratitude list and a lot of the things happily remain the same. My family, my health, my relationships, my sobriety, the gifts that I’ve been given, my dogs. And it just resets you and reminds you of all of the gifts that are given and it’s been a big part of my daily meditation, prayer, stuff like that. And it really has made a difference. I’ve gotten more and more consistent with that as I’ve gotten older. I would say this is a development of the last 10 years that I’ve really taken it seriously.

The Healthy: Wonderful. What is one self-care ritual that you refuse to skip?

Rob Lowe: I go crazy if I don’t get outside and work out or both. If the weather is nice and I don’t have a reason to be indoors, I’m not indoors. I’m outside all the time. Being around nature and the trees and sunlight, the fresh air, we’ve got to get out of the offices, we’ve got to get out of the buildings. I know it’s hard when I’m on a sound stage or in an editing room. It’s hard. It’s hard for other folks as well, but I make a real concerted effort to do that and also to get your body moving and get your heart rate up and get a sweat. I’m lucky that I love that stuff.

So it could be pickleball, it could be tennis, it could be skiing, it could be hiking, it could be interval training, it could be my Peloton, it could be the treadmill, it could be a beach run, it could be a swim. It doesn’t matter. I’m down to do any of that. You come to me and say any of those, I’m in.

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The Healthy: Going into your sixties, you’ve never been busier. You’ve got season 2 of your Netflix series. I saw that you guys were doing the last table reading in the writer’s room, which is exciting. You’ve got a quiz show and a very popular podcast. How do you balance it all? What are you excited about with everything going on?

Rob Lowe: My podcast Literally is where I interview anybody and everybody you can think about. Robert Downey Jr. Is the most current and we’re in our fourth year. My Netflix comedy show is called Unstable. We finished our second year, which will be coming this summer. It’s kind of like funny in the old school way, like 30 Rock. We are approaching the finales of the quiz show, The Floor, that’s just really caught on.

You never know what’s going to work, right? You do the best you can do. You pick things that are interesting, that are interesting to you. You never know how they’re going to be embraced. And I’m just blown away at how people are obsessed with this game. Then in about a month we start 9-1-1 Lone Star. That’s my action drama. And what’s good with all of that is I kind of get to do so many different flavors of performing, storytelling, entertaining.

Rob Lowe, honoree Robert Downey Jr., and Cillian Murphy attend the Maltin Modern Master Award ceremony during the 39th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival at The Arlington Theatre on February 09, 2024Rebecca Sapp/getty images
Rob Lowe, honoree Robert Downey Jr., and Cillian Murphy attend the Maltin Modern Master Award ceremony during the 39th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival at The Arlington Theatre on February 09, 2024.

The Healthy: It really sounds fun. What are your birthday plans for 60?

Rob Lowe: Well, my lovely wife of 33 years, Sheryl, is the best party planner in the world. She’s just the best at bringing people together to celebrate. And it’s not a surprise party, but I don’t know a lot about it by design because I would stress. So I think we’re going to have maybe multiple parties because of our multiple friend groups and being based both in LA and Santa Barbara. I do know karaoke will be involved very seriously.